A new cellar door opened in Pokolbin last week – with equal parts patience and frustration involved. In big amounts.
But to walk in the door at Comyns and Co Wines, it has been worth the wait.
“We’re in a great spot and we’re open in time for Christmas and the concert season, so we have to be happy,” Scott Comyns said. “But it took a long time coming.
“It seemed like it took months to get the licence we needed, which tested our patience and put a strain on the finances.”
Comyns has runs on the board in the Hunter winemaking fraternity.
He has been chief winemaker at Tempus Two, Pepper Tree and Briar Ridge, and more recently has been assisting his good mate Andrew Thomas at Thomas Wines.
“Thommo was our first customer when we opened,” he said. “I was working there when he opened his own cellar door, and I think that was what really stoked the fire to open up here.”
It’s certainly an impressive space.
Located in the Peppers Creek Village complex – along with Cafe Enzo, Pukara Estate Olives and David Hook Wines – it is right in the heart of wine country and has a wonderful view over the dam.
“The space had been unused for a couple of years, and we couldn’t believe how nice it was when we saw it,” Comyns said. “It’s light and airy and has a nice, warm feel.”
One of the hallmarks of the Comyns and Co. wines has been the striking labelling on the bottles – designed by Scott’s brother Angus, who happens to be an artist.
“We wanted something that stands out and they sure do that. We have the originals on the walls too,” he said.
There’s no doubt they’re some of the most impressive labels you’ll see anywhere, but as Comyns knows, it’s what’s in the bottle that counts. In that regard he has some Hunter staples – semillon, shiraz and chardonnay – but then stretches his winemaking wings.
How about a couple of wines called Mr Red and Mrs White ?
The white is a combination of Viognier, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscat. The red is Tempranillo, Petit Verdot, Shiraz and Cabernet.
Prices start at $28 and there are a couple of reserve wines – a shiraz pinot and a chardonnay – both seriously impressive.
For now, like most family start-up businesses, it's all hands on deck for the family.
Comyn’s wife Missy has thrown in her job as a clinical specialist to work at the cellar door alongside Scott as they juggle business life with school drop-off and pick-up for their daughters – not to mention Dexter, their much-loved Staffordshire bull terrier.
“It takes a bit job sharing, but we’re getting there … and it’s certainly very exciting.”