Like most passionate people who dream of growing grapes and making great wine, Downing Estate’s Joy and Bob Downing’s dream included setting up their own vineyard while still working full time, then retiring by the age of fifty five to drive their wine venture while paying a manager to look after operational details.  Living the dream started in 1994 when, with the help of Grant Baker, they purchased land on the Northern Highway, about six kilometres from Heathcote, just over the road from Jasper Hill where Ron Laughton had already put the name of Heathcote on the map for quality reds.

The same year saw them lay out the vineyard with assistance from Brendan Tobin while Ellis Knight built them a dam so that they could assist the baby vines in the first few years and have an ongoing emergency water supply for when rainfall was low.  Heathcote was their chosen area to live the dream as they wanted to be within an hour and a half of Melbourne and they liked Heathcote prices.

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Downing Estate has a 5_red winery rating from James Halliday.

James Halliday’s Australian Wine Companion has scored 17 of our wines 94/100 or higher, 13 wines scored 90-93/100 and 2 wines scored 89/100.

Awarded 1 Trophy, 3 Gold Medals, 2 Silver Medals and 2 Bronze Medals at le Concours des Vins de Victoria.

Awarded several Silver and Gold medals at Federation Square, including Best Victorian Cabernet Sauvignon for the 2002 Downing Estate Heathcote Cabernet Sauvignon.

Awarded 2 Silver and 2 Bronze medals at the Heathcote Wine Show in August 2013.

Awarded 1 Trophy, 1 Gold Medal, 2 Silver Medals and 2 Bronze Medals at the Heathcote Wine Show
in August 2014.

Awarded 1 Gold medal, 1 Silver medal and 2 Bronze medals at the 2015 Heathcote Wine Show.