Shut the Gate cellar door, Snowy Mountains

If you’re driving through Berridale in NSW’s Snowy Mountains, you can’t miss the striking sign that has just gone up out of the front of the new Shut the Gate cellar door that opened this week.

With an existing cellar door in South Australia’s Clare Valley, keen skiers Rasa Fabian and Richard Woods have spent a lot of time in the Snowy’s over the years.  They are now hoping to add a bit of value to an area that they love in the way of a cellar door and providore.


Shut the Gate cellar door and providore is now open in Berridale

Growing up in the Hunter Valley, Richard started working in wineries as a way of getting through uni.  “It was a means to an end, nothing all that glamorous; working in wineries as locals do up that way.”  Richard and Rasa met whilst working at Southcorp.  Rasa had spent time in Europe running ski resorts, she then started working for the Brown Brothers family running Brown Brothers Wines for Australasia.  Based in Sydney, they both had corporate roles which included a lot of travel and they didn’t see much of each other.  They decided to drop out of the corporate world and bought a little winery/vineyard in the Clare Valley called Crabtree Watervale Wines.  After running and rebuilding the business over six years they then sold it.


Richard Woods and Rasa Fabian at their new Shut the Gate Snowy Mountains cellar door and providore

The start of Shut the Gate wines

In the mean time they started producing Shut the Gate wines from a 2010 vintage and opened up a cellar door just over two years ago in Watervale in the Clare Valley.  Doing small batch wine making primarily in Clare, producing sauvignon blanc, pinot out of Adelaide Hills and barbera.

Throughout this process and their years working for Penfolds, they have seen some really top chardonnay coming out of Tumbarumba.  Richard has always been mesmerised by the quality of the fruit coming out of the region. And thought they’d love to produce a really top end chardonnay out of a single site in Tumbarumba.  After a bit of homework they eventually sourced fruit out of Courabyra vineyard and have contracted space at a winery at Murrumbateman. Last year producing what they think is a pretty smart chardonnay out of that area. Along with a pinot gris this year, and a little batch of shiraz sourced from Hilltop.


pick your own picnic in the providore, supporting local produce where possible

“We’ve built a little portfolio of wines for the Snowy and we’ll continue to rebuild on the Tumbarumba area. An area that we think is exciting.  Next month we’re releasing the 2015 premium Tumba chardonnay from Courabyra vineyard, a pinot gris and a shiraz. Which we’ll sell through cellar door and locally through restaurants.  We’ll have a local element as well as our Clare portfolio. And we’re also building a home here for wholesaling into the mountains, Cooma and surrounding districts.”


An eclectic interior with a roaring fire; StG cellar door is the perfect place to settle in on a rainy afternoon


A selection of wines from the Clare Valley and soon to be released Tumbarumba and Hilltop wines


A cosy place to enjoy great wine and great food

Rasa and Richard’s love of the mountains

Tom and Ash will be working at the cellar door on a full time basis.  Rasa and Richard will be here for the winter season. Both for business and because they like skiing.  “It’s a good excuse hopefully, if we’ve got enough hours in the day.  We like the summer season too.  We’ve spent a lot of time here, so it’s an area that we love and think we can add a bit of value to.”

Shut the Gate have been listed in the top 10 new wineries for 2015 with Halliday’s and awarded cellar door of the year in the top 10 wine experiences in South Australia by the Guardian in the UK, so there’s some good stuff behind them.


Wine tasting and sales open 7 days a week

The Berridale Cellar Door

The Berridale cellar door will be open 7 days a week, 10 – 5, later on Friday nights during the winter season.  Supporting local produce with providore products where they can.  “What we offer is a comfortable area to have a glass of wine and something to nibble with it.  In the nicer weather we’ll have an open garden and eventually some wine and food related events.  Wine is our gig and that’s what we’ll stick to.”

Vintage cinema lightbox given a new lease of life with help from the Little Mountain Lightbox Co.

Coming from a small country town in the Clare Valley, we’ve got an appreciation of something new and exciting.  The support is fantastic, everyone’s been really positive.”


On the main street in Berridale, you can’t and shouldn’t miss it!

blog on Courabyra wines

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