The Organic Story


The Organic Story

Mount Avoca is Australia’s most highly awarded organic winery, offering a beautiful and relaxed cellar-door experience along with unsurpassed quality in its fully ACO-certified wines. It's not just our wines that are better for the world; our three 'Eco-Luxe' lodges were designed by architects using ecological principles, meaning every aspect of your visit to Mount Avoca reflects a commitment to the natural world. 

Accidentally Organic  

Matthew Barry, our owner, was brought up with a 'clean and green' ethos, thanks to his father being a pioneer in the Ausvit minimal spray program in the 1980s. In the 1990s, the winery began to use native Australian insects to attack caterpillars and has since made use of other natural pesticides while avoiding fungicides. Becoming a fully certified organic winery was the natural next step.

Following a tasting of organic and biodynamic from all over the world, Matthew realised that going organic was a way to ensure that our wines had a vitality and pep that would stand them apart from the majority of wines on the market. So, Mount Avoca took the dirt path less travelled and treated the vineyard like a garden, doggedly pursuing that elusive purity flavour and vivaciousness.

This search for quality led to a completely natural and chemical-free philosophy. The organic certification is really a by-product of growing the best-quality fruit, so we like to think of ourselves as being 'accidentally organic'. As Matthew says, 'Our holy grail was always totally amazing wines with a purity of flavour and no chemical residue. The certification was a happy side effect.'


Mount Avoca began with the dream of a Melbourne stockbroker who wanted a tree change 30 years before the term had been coined. He landed in the Pyrenees, which is one of the oldest wine regions in Australia, just outside the historic Gold Rush town of Avoca. A 400-acre property off Moates Lane was purchased and the first vines were planted in 1970. Over the following decades, the vineyard was expanded and 1000 olive trees were planted, of which 600 remain.

Matthew Barry, a second-generation owner and winemaker, has continued the environmental ethos and practice instigated by his father, achieving Australian Organic Classification in both the vineyard and the winery. Three stunning Eco-luxe lodges were opened in 2009, providing the perfect place to just hang out, unwind and bask in the peaceful and largely untouched Pyrenees.

Our People

MB in vineyard
Founded in 1970 by John and Arda Barry, Mount Avoca is now run by Matthew Barry and sons, who are proudly carrying on the family tradition. Dedicated to self-sustaining environmental principles since its establishment, Mount Avoca is now the only organic certified vineyard and winery in the region and one of the leaders in combining organic and sustainable viticulture in a modern framework. We're always looking to innovate, whether it's in the vineyard or with our winemaking methods.

David Darlow | Manager: Winemaking – Viticulture – Estate

David has over 20 years of winemaking experience in Europe, the US, New Zealand and across Australia. His background as a fine wine retailer and chef extraordinaire adds the broad brushstrokes to his mastery of detail in all aspects of viticulture and winemaking. Though David is humble and unassuming, a quiet fire burns inside, pushing him to produce the best wines possible from the earth, sun and occasional rains that bless the Pyrenees. 

The number of gold medals, trophies, 'Wine of the Year' awards and nominations that Mount Avoca has received in the short time David has been at the helm really does say it all.

The Region

The Pyrenees Wine Region is one of Australia's finest wine regions. Often underrated, the wines are intensely flavoured and carry the hallmarks of individuality and character. The wineries are understated, small and publicity shy, possibly a reason for the region flying under the radar for almost 50 years.  Arguably one of Victoria's best kept secrets, the natural beauty of the region is only surpassed by its incredible wines. Mount Avoca is perfectly located at the crossroads of Central Victoria, with Ballarat, Daylesford, Castlemaine, Ararat and St Arnaud all lying less than an hour’s drive away.