Design Anthology - Asia Pacific Edition
Mitchelton Estate’s status as a top wine, food, art and architecture destination is furthered with the addition of five Airstream RVs
There can be no doubt that architect Robin Boyd left an indelible, enduring mark on Australia’s built landscape. An outspoken proponent of a new Australian modernism, Boyd was prolific in his relatively short career — as an architect, writer, critic, educator and activist — and saw a great deal of his designs realised.
Boyd’s untimely passing in 1971, however, came before the completion of the winery and getaway destination in Nagambie, northern Victoria, that he designed for Melbourne hospitality entrepreneur Ross Shelmerdine (son-in-law of retail entrepreneur Sidney Myer). In Boyd’s deeply felt absence, Mitchelton Estate and its iconic tower, situated on more than 100 hectares of farmland on the banks of the Goulburn River, were completed by respected Australian architect Ted Ashton.
Mitchelton — a name coined by Boyd after Scottish explorer Sir Thomas Mitchell, who conceived of the unbuilt Mitchellstown river crossing nearby — was officially opened in 1974. The vineyards saw early success with riesling and Marsanne varieties, and then later with multiple award-winning shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and sparkling varietals. All this was a credit to the expertise of master winemaker Colin Preece, who was first commissioned by Shelmerdine in 1967 to source the land that would become Mitchelton’s vineyards, and then held the position of chief winemaker up until his retirement.
When Gerry Ryan and his family acquired the property in 2011 and later appointed Melbournebased design studio Hecker Guthrie to redesign onsite restaurant The Muse and create a 58room boutique hotel and day spa, they were continuing a long tradition of collaborating with the best in Australian design.
A mutual passion for Australian art saw Ryan and local art dealer and curator Adam Knight establish the Mitchelton Gallery of Aboriginal Art in 2018, housed in the extensive underground cellars. ‘ The collection has been thirty years in the making and features some of the largest works produced by Australia’s most respected Indigenous artists. It’s also arguably