FROM the road outside Morris Wines, you may never guess the prized grand design within.
Located in the heart of the Rutherglen winery, the atrium-style cellar door was designed by legendary Australian architect Robin Boyd.
Built in 1972, the cellar door offers views to the century-old storage casks and famous dirt floors of the fifth-generation winery operation.
Morris Wines winemaker David Morris said the business had commissioned Robin Boyd – one of the foremost proponents for the International Modern Movement in Australian architecture – to design the cellar door with a special brief.
Mr Morris said the cellar door had a lot of visitors during Rutherglen’s heyday of winery tourism in the early 1970s.
“The tasting counters used to be in the cellar and the problem was that people wandered off everywhere,” he said.
“The brief was to contain people from wandering off.”
Mr Morris said Rutherglen was one of the first regions to get winery tourism up and running.
He said Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula were just starting out during the 1970s.
“There was a huge amount of Melbourne traffic to Rutherglen,” Mr Morris said.
Mr Morris said the cellar door was modern for Rutherglen and even by Australian standards of the time.
“It has stayed fresh and modern even now,” he said.
“We wouldn’t tamper with the design anyhow.”
Host of ABC current affairs program This Day Tonight (1967-1975), Bill Peach officially opened the cellar door in 1972.
The Lockhart-born journalist had been home on a visit.
Morris Wines will be among the historic properties taking part in the inaugural Rutherglen & Corowa Unlocked on August 25 and 26.
The program is inspired by Melbourne’s prestigious Open House event.
Mr Morris said the present winery building dated from the 1940s with additional structures in the 1960s.
He will host tours in the winery at 11am on both days.
He will walk visitors through the winery and share his knowledge about winemaking processes.
The Morris Wines cellar door is open to the public both days from 10am to 5pm.
Rutherglen & Corowa Unlocked is a joint venture between Federation Council and Destination Rutherglen.
It is supported by Regional Design Service, the Federation Museum and the Rutherglen Historical Society.
Bookings are essential via Eventbrite for all properties.
For more details visit visitcorowaregion.com.au and explorerutherglen.com.au.