The breathtaking Grampians landscape is in the blood for Hadyn Black. The vintner grew up in Coleraine in western Victoria, and after completing a vintage in the Grampians wine region in 2013, he knew it was the right place to begin his winemaking journey. Luckily his city-born partner, Lucy, was just as keen to embrace the adventure of country life.
Together they run Hounds Run Vineyard, which is making a mark for more than just its wine. The onsite accommodation, a tiny house raised above the vines, is a big draw. Off-grid and run on solar power, the tiny stay has expansive views out to Sugarloaf and the Grampians, and is a wonderfully serene way to experience the region. Hadyn also has plans for transforming an old Melbourne tram on the property. Stay tuned.
Some of Hadyn's favourite things involve off-roading, camping and – naturally – a good drop of wine. He shares some of these with us.
1. Paper Scissors Rock Brewery
Pop into the brewery in Halls Gap for a beer and a burger. 'These guys have only been open for a few years,' Hadyn says, 'but have very quickly become a local favourite. Wicked food, great beers and friendly staff.' A winning combination, for sure.
2. Lake Fyans
This serene stretch of water close to Halls Gap is ideal for swimming, sailing and cooling off when the temperature rises. Hadyn agrees: 'We love heading out on the lake in the ski boat during summer. No better place to be on those hot days.'
3. Grampians Wine Tours
Not far from Hounds Run, Great Western is home to some of the oldest vineyards in Australia. Why not take Hadyn's advice and get tasting with Grampians Wine Tours. 'By helicopter or bus, the best way to see our amazing wine region is to let someone else drive.' We couldn't agree more.
4. Four-wheel driving
There's nothing more exhilarating than getting on – or in this case off – the road in the Grampians. The region is full of rugged and scenic 4WD tracks. Hadyn loves to 'chuck the swag in the ute and go find those spectacular camp sites.'
5. Bunyip Hotel Cavendish
When it's time to return to a little civilisation, Hadyn recommends heading to Cavendish for a bang-up meal at the Bunyip. This classic country pub serves up 'amazing food, made with local produce and matched with local wines. Yum!'