Best’s Great Western neighbour Seppelt has been in the news lately. When its owner Treasury Wine Estates announced in October 2015 that Seppelt’s cellar door would be closing, sighs of disappointment were heard all over the country. Thankfully, this historic winery, with an intimate family connection to Best’s Wines, has received a stay of execution.
It comes in the form of local businessman Daniel Ahchow, who owns Great Western Garage not far from Seppelt and runs an online recruitment company. Mr Ahchow has signed a leasing agreement with Treasury Wine Estates to keep the tourism element of the estate alive and kicking.
The agreement will see Seppelt’s 3km heritage-listed ‘Drives’ tunnels remain open to the public, as well as its cellar door, function and accommodation facilities. This is the official home of Seppelt, and will remain so for the near future.
Despite the fact that there is no official winemaking facility on site, Seppelt’s cellar door will continue to offer the brand’s wines for tasting where you can experience the history of Best’s closest neighbour.
This new ownership is great news for Best’s – we believe Seppelt’s history sits side by side that of Best’s. Joseph Best, the brother of Best’s founder Henry Best, founded Seppelt more than 150 years ago. Our desire is to encourage more people to discover the wines, beauty and history of the Great Western region, so we truly hope this new agreement will arrest any potential visitation decline.
It’s great news that Seppelt’s current employees will be given the chance to remain employed at the cellar door, and we’re thrilled that under the new partnership agreement, there are plans for funds raised from tours of Seppelt’s Drives to contribute to the development of the Great Western township via the Great Western Future Plan.
Seppelt’s Drives tunnels are the longest underground cellars in the southern hemisphere and provide a fascinating glimpse into Victorian history alongside Best’s fascinating story. Best’s and Seppelt are both about two hours’ drive from Melbourne. Our region is set against a backdrop of the spectacular Grampians sandstone mountain ranges, so a visit is a must for wine and history lovers alike.