At the risk of resorting to hyperbole, the reimagined and renamed Hubert Estate – which incorporates the existing St Hubert’s winery – is breathtaking.

Anyone who visited the longstanding Yarra Valley winery before would be hard-pressed to picture it now. While the original footprint is taken up by modern Australian (but Italian-inspired) restaurant Quarters and event space Harriett, the structure housing the cellar door, wine store and Aboriginal art gallery is a sight to behold.

As you approach, Quarters is on your right. On your left, two high concrete walls frame a huge copper door cut into a grassy, modernised Hobbiton-looking hill. But it’s not a hill at all. Walking through, you might expect to find a lightless bunker, but it’s a warm, cosy space with rich wood panelling. The wine store, Notes, is to the left and ahead is a cellar door that looks more like a lounge bar – with couches, high tables and a huge arched window looking out onto the vines and hills. Here, you can do a full tasting of the St Hubert’s range or just enjoy a bottle with locally sourced cheese and charcuterie.

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Hubert Estate is helmed by father-son team Gerry and Andrew Ryan of Ryan Hospitality Group (The Prince Hotel, Mitchelton Winery, Nagambie Brewery and Distillery), who worked with architecture and interior design studio Cera Stribley to make the magic happen.

“For all its impressive grandeur, it’s a very relaxed setting,” Andrew tells Broadsheet. “The development has been reasonably considered and – for the scale of it – is quite subdued.”

Quarters has a long terrazzo-floored dining room with gleaming green and white subway tiles, and rustic wooden farmhouse tables made for sharing. Food by executive chef Michael Smith (formerly of Tonka and Mamasita) comes from the large bronze dome of a Marana pizza oven and a custom-made charcoal grill.

But Smith doesn’t want Quarters to be pigeonholed. “I want people to walk away saying ‘that was such a good pizza and great pasta’, but I don’t want them to walk away and refer to it as ‘the Italian place’,” he says. “I am drawing on all my experience … and the grill changes it up from being purely Italian.” He mixes it up with dishes like sticky chilli-glazed quail with kimchi, and smoky American-ish lamb ribs with creamy slaw.

For this multi-million-dollar project, the Ryan family worked with publicly listed winemaker and distributors Treasury Wines, which leases the cellar door from them.

“When Treasury said they wanted to sell St Hubert’s, we had always respected the brand and loved the property – it was a no-brainer,” says Andrew. “Treasury wanted to have a cellar door and the sale was on that basis. Treasury kept the brand, and the renaming is a nod to the past owners.

“Legacy and history are very important and, rather than rebranding, I prefer to build on it and look at what the original intentions of the founders were and then to build on [those] and modernise or make [them] more relevant.”

On the horizon? Boutique music events in the natural amphitheatre in front of the cellar door, as well as an 80-room hotel, a fine-dining restaurant and a day spa.

Hubert Estate
1-3 St Huberts Road, Coldstream
03 8756 1600

Hours:
Mon to Thu 10am–6pm
Fri & Sat 10am–9pm
Sun 10am–6pm

hubertestate.com.au