The natural beauty surrounding Rylstone’s sandstone village is spectacular and it’s here that De Beaurepaire Wines cultivates its French-style drops.
“Wine is the ultimate legacy,” says Will de Beaurepaire, whose family-run winery draws on a rich heritage from Burgundy, France. Their surname means “a beautiful hideaway or sanctuary”, which is exactly what Will’s parents, Richard and Janet, discovered in 1998 after scouring Australia’s regions for French-like terroir, leading them to the picturesque banks of the Cudgegong River on the doorstep of Wollemi National Park.
Here, they found an ultra-cool climate and limestone-enriched soils, which now nurture 53 hectares of slow-growing grapes, making for outstanding sparkling wines, chardonnay and their award-winning pinot noir – “one of the hardest varieties to grow,” says Will.
“Customers are looking for character,” adds Richard – and it’s something the 170-year-old stables-turned-cellar door offers by the barrel.
Will says winemaking is a resilient industry, surviving drought, bushfires, frosts and now COVID-19. The key is looking forward, not back. “We’re planting varieties now that won’t be great for another 10 years. It’s like trees, you don’t plant them for yourself, you plant them for your children.”
The family is always on the lookout for new opportunities under the eye of Richard’s daughter, Amanda. They also do immersive wine tastings and have curated a travel guide to the gold-rush village of Rylstone, now an artist community with hip eateries, where dumplings and tea are hot on the menu. “The yum cha will blow your mind,” says Richard.
Their top small business tips
Be yourself: De Beaurepaire Wines leans into its heritage. “The key is differentiation. If you’re selling a version of something already out there, you’re going to find it hard,” says Richard de Beurepaire.
Make Qantas Points count: Exporting wine to Europe, Asia and the United States means “travel is huge for us,” says Will. “We do a lot of miles in planes and nights in hotels and earning points through the Qantas Business Rewards program is very effective,” adds Richard.