Winter 2017 Newsletter

Posted: June 24, 2017 Category: Newsletters

"Vintage started off a bit later than it has for the past several years but nowhere near where it was twenty years ago. Global warming has made a huge difference to harvest dates here in the cool Alpine Valleys. From starting in April in the 1990s to February 20 years on. Anyway this vintage started in March and the fruit of the early varieties was nothing short of exceptional. Then it rained! And then it rained again! That’s how it was for the remainder of the harvest. Diseases associated with the wet were not a problem in our vineyard as we had been very vigilant with our fungus preventative spray program. Eventually we got all the varieties in at close to the desired sugar levels, but I hasten to add the flavours were early and amazing. Summary – a good vintage, not exceptional. My pick for this year was the Sangiovese, the Shiraz, and the Riesling. Time will tell the true story."

Kel Boynton

Click here to read the newsletter in full  (PDF 2.0MB)


Feathertop now offers visitors the chance to have the keys to their own private winery estate

Posted: June 19, 2017 Category: Latest News Comment: 0

A message from Kel and Janelle Boynton, owners of Feathertop:

On behalf of the team at Feathertop, we are delighted to announce our next exciting chapter.

As a regional business we feel very fortunate that over the past two decades, we have been developing all aspects of Boyntons into Feathertop. Successfully we have re branded, established onsite accommodation and functions, replaced national wholesale and export with direct sales to our Summit Cru wine membership community.

So to enhance the experiences on site we have we have made the decision to bring forward our private membership model to develop our property to host our Summit Cru Wine Club members.

What does this mean?
o    Feathertop is open 7 days for our Summit Cru Wine Club members by appointment   

o    Our Feathertop onsite food and wine experiences (cellar door, restaurant and deli) are open to the general public from 11:00am Friday through to Sunday, public holidays with extended trading days during school holidays.  

o    We are also delighted to be able to offer tailored experiences to members of the public by appointment.  

Like our new sign at our gates says:

Welcome to Feathertop
We are a private winery estate open for our Summit Cru Wine Club members by appointment 7 days a week. Please call 5756 2356 and our concierge team will be delighted to open the gates and organise a Feathertop experience for you and your guests (or anytime during your stay in the valley.)
If you are not a Summit Cru Wine Club member, the cellar door and restaurant are open to the general public Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11am, and also public and school holidays (except Christmas Day).
To book our accommodation, purchase our wines, enquire about private winery experience packages or make a group booking, please give us a call, or visit

Our team has carefully created a range experience products that we think capture the ultimate food, wine and nature based activities that visitors  can do at the winery. These experiences will be available for everyone to book on our website, so it will now be even more convenient for visitors to organise their ultimate Feathertop experience from home! We will announce these in the coming months.   

We thank you for your ongoing support of Feathertop and look forward to continuing our wine community with you. If you have any queries please don’t hesitate to contact us on 03 5756 2356.


Autumn 2017 Newsletter

Posted: April 05, 2017 Category: Newsletters

"Autumn is here and the vines work hard to ripen their bunches of beautiful golden and black grapes. In fact it is more meaningful to reflect on the growing season that was. Spring and bud burst was late after a very wet winter with the rivers close to bursting their banks for weeks and weeks on end. As the vines came out of dormancy and started their growth, it was a bit scary on a few occasions as the mercury dropped below zero degrees but thankfully not low enough to cause serious damage to our vines. Flowering follows bud burst by roughly six weeks so again we noted that it was later than the last few years. The weather stayed warm to hot over summer without any extreme damaging heat waves. Rain kept falling on a regular basis and at times Evan would just get a mildew and botrytis spray on and then have to repeat it all over as it had rained yet again, and  again, and again. However veraison (that’s when the grapes start to soften and colour) began on cue, six weeks after flowering and we allowed ourselves to get a little excited as harvest follows verasion by, you guessed it, six weeks."

Kel Boynton

Click here to read the newsletter in full  (PDF 2.4MB)


Summer 2016-17 Newsletter

Posted: November 19, 2016 Category: Newsletters

Finally we have had some warm weather up here or down here  depending on where you live in Australia. Mind you the warm days have well and truly been outnumbered by cooler/colder ones, with intermittent snow falling on Feathertop and Mount Hotham and light frosts chilling down our vines to the minus one degree on numerous occasions. Luckily they can cope with light frosts – minus two is death.

When we have had the warmer days the vines have responded with a rush of growth and the vineyard looks an absolute treat. The  record rainfall experienced early in spring saw only minor flooding and again no damage was visible. In between the wet days we have been busy planting the rest of the Montepulciano, Tempranillo, Sangiovese and a new block of Cabernet Sauvignon. So now when you look out across the vineyard from the lawn at the winery you don’t see a big hole of unplanted trellising where, sadly, the last of our
25 year old Shiraz vines where pulled out because of phylloxera. There will only be two patches left to plant next year, one at either end of the steep hill. At one end I’m putting in a very old clone of Malbec that is very hard to get at; and at the other end, in front of our house, goes the fifth clone of Sangiovese. It will be an amazing accomplishment to have the replant completed. Just over fifty acres in total.

Also in this issue:

  • Kel expalins his close planting strategy for our vines
  • We get excited to launch our new website !
  • His middle daughter Carla gets married at Feathertop Winery
  • Caroline shares her Chocoalte and Beetroot Cake recipie that featured at the recent Spring Long Lunch
  • We host a Summit Cru Wine Club event for 125 people in Melbourne

To read the newsletter in full, please click here


Autumn 2016 Newsletter

Posted: March 17, 2016 Category: Newsletters

"Summer to date in this beautiful valley has definitely been warm enough yet interspersed with regular and good rains. Everything is still looking green and the vines lush. We did get smacked by hail around Christmas with the vines nearest the winery copping an absolute beating by the 80-100km/h winds that were driving the hail horizontally at the vines. Thankfully it was a narrow strip that whipped down from Porepunkah then petered out not much further down the valley than our vineyard. The bottom line for us is probably as little as 15% yield was lost. "The early varieties are just beginning to colour (called verasion) which indicates that we will start harvesting in the third or last week of February. Harvest is the most exciting time of the year. This is time when the real truth is laid bare and any shortfalls and errors of judgement in the vineyard become glaringly evident." Kel Boynton Also in this issue:

  • The vineyard team are preparing for harvest 2016 and Kel explains how the magic happens from picking the fruit in the vineyard to fermentation.
  • Kel reviews some of our current cellar door releases including the 2008 Black, 2012 Blanc de Blanc (new!), 2014 Fruilano, 2015 Pinot Gris, 2015 Savagnin, 2012 Shiraz, 2013 Merlot and the 2014 Tempranillo.
  • We announce a new dining experience available for Summit Cru members - private degustations in the Alfresco Dining Restaurant; and
  • We take 5 with Robbie Clarkson our Sous Chef.

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