You don’t have to attend all the activities associated with the winemaking. Even if you wanted to see how the pruning is done, you are welcome to just come up (drink some wine) watch and we will take care of the rest. The same is true for just about everything else as well. We will let you know when things are happening and if you can’t get there we’ll fill the gaps. The picking and the crush day is the BIG day, so you should make sure you can be at this. We usually have 4 – 8 picking/crushing days (Saturdays and Sundays) so there is some flexibility there as there is for most of the other activities. As always, we keep you updated as we head to each stage and of course, the glory remains all yours!

Whenever you are dealing with nature (or anything for that matter) there is always risk and risk management is a key consideration for us in running The Shiraz Republic. We have been making wine from our own grapes since 2005 and have during that time been through events like you have described: flood, mildew, fire, frost and drought.

  • In 2009 at the height of the Millennium drought when water was expensive and scarce we were able to access secure water through the pipeline which serves our property.

o   RISK STRATEGY – Vineyard is served by micro-drip irrigation. We have access to secure water through the Colbinabbin-Cornell Pipeline.

  • In 2009 and 2014 when there were large bushfire events in southern Victoria, the threat of smoke damage failed to materialise.

o   RISK STRATEGY – As a safeguard we did have our grapes scientifically analysed for smoke taint just in case. The wasn’t any.

  • In 2010 we had severe frost in the district – we suffered minor losses and made wine and supplied grapes to all our customers.

o   RISK STRATEGY – Ensure that wheat and canola crops are short stem varieties to allow cold air to flow away from the vineyard.

  • In 2013 we had a grassfire that started on a neighbour’s property and burnt half our vineyard. While we lost half the crop we reduced our own winemaking to ensure that customers received their grapes.

o   RISK STRATEGY – Major upgrade of our own fire-fighting equipment. Fire plan revised. No longer use straw mulch in vineyard.

Finally, our priority is supporting our Rent-A-Row winemakers and ongoing grape customers over all else. So in the event of a grape shortage for any reason, we choose to make less wine ourselves to ensure our customers have a supply of grapes for their winemaking. We have also extended our relationships with other vineyards in the district which give us an alternate source of supply in the event of a localised disaster. We refer to this as the long paddock, but the point is we will make sure you’re able to make an excellent Shiraz wine with us.

Rent-A-Row is best when experienced with family and friends.


For Picking/Crushing, we recommend 2-4 people for a demijohn, 2-6 people for a double demijohn and 4-12 people for a barrique.

For Pressing, we recommend 2-4 people for a demijohn, 2-6 people for a double demijohn and 5-10 people for a barrique.

For Racking, we recommend 2-4 people for a demijohn, 2-4 people for a double demijohn and 3-5 people for a barrique.

For Bottling, we recommend 2-6 people for a demijohn, 4-8 people for a double demijohn and 5-10 people for a barrique.

We’ve noticed that most people want a bottle for helping, so make sure you will have enough wine for everyone.

We recommend drinking after 2 years. If you want to drink it earlier, decant the wine for about an hour.

The reason we recommend to decant is to aerate the wine. Many young wines can be tight or closed on the nose or palate. As the wine is slowly poured from the bottle to the decanter it takes in oxygen, which helps open up the aromas and flavors. Highly tannic and full-bodied wines benefit most from this – wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet blends, Shiraz, and Shiraz blends.

Decanting a young wine (one with no sediment) is easy: Just pour it into the decanter. Let it sit for twenty minutes or so before you serve it, and you’ll likely notice a dramatic increase in subtlety and complexity. If you have the luxury of time, continue tasting the wine over a period of hours. It may keep evolving and improving.


Pruning – June – July

Growing – September – February


Harvest (Picking and Crushing) – Mid-February – March

Pressing Off– 1-2 week after Crush (March)

Racking and babysitting

Additions – April – May

Racking – June – July

Bottling and Labelling

Label design – September – October

Bottling – November – December

Drinking & Storage

Drinking – 1-2 years from bottling

Cellaring – Up to 10 years

We recommend using Canva online software. It is free and user friendly.

Each Rent-A-Row package includes the printing of one design only.

The specifications for labels are:

– a single 152x102mm artwork, with 1mm bleeds (6in by 4in – a wide label that wraps around the bottle);

– 300 dpi resolution;

– we recommend using only the ‘free’ images and templates in Canva

– print ready (ie: all we have to do is print it with no editing to be made);

– outline all text;

– colour is CMYK;

– share with in Canva with editing ability. (Allows us to edit formatting and alignment for our label printer)

We highly recommend not using SatNav’s.

The best way to find us is to enter ‘The Shiraz Republic’ or ‘Cornella Real Brewery’ into Google Maps. Alternatively, 1505 Heathcote-Rochester Road, Cornella will give you accurate directions.

Kids are always welcome at the Republic!

All kids remain under your supervision. Please be advised that some of our Rent-A-Row equipment isn’t recommended for kids under 6 years old. We also have a friendly wine dog named Annie, who loves to chase a ball or stick (but doesn’t like giving it back to be thrown again!).

If you’re visiting for Picking/Crushing or Pressing off, enter via the first gate (vineyard) park along fence, then have a cuppa (or a beer or wine!) at the cellar door.

If the vineyard gate is closed, please use the second (main) gate.

Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your booking time. This allows you to stretch your legs, visit the facilities and marvel at our fantastic view before we get started.

From Moonee Ponds, it will take about an hour and 50 minutes.

From Burwood, it will take about two hours and 15 minutes.

From Sandringham, it will take about 2 hours 20 minutes.

From Narre Warren, it will take about 2 and a half hours.

From Werribee, it will take about 2 hours.

From Echuca, it will take about 50 minutes.

From Bendigo, it will take about 40 minutes.

From Shepparton, it will take about an hour and 10 minutes.

These are approximate travel times only. Please factor in things such as weather, traffic, roadworks when planning your trip.

You are welcome to bring a picnic or platter.

We have a BBQ available for our customers to use (provided you clean it after use!)

We will be running a food truck most days during Harvest.

Please note that our licence doesn’t allow BYO drinks (except water or kids drinks).


Hat, sunscreen, water bottles, adequate clothing to protect against the sun/cold, closed toe shoes for picking & pruning stages (thongs or sandals are not recommended in vineyard).

We have first aid trained staff on hand.

In case of fire or bushfire, please follow directions from The Shiraz Republic staff.

The Demijohn package will yield 33 bottles.

The Double Demijohn package will yield 72 bottles.

The Barrique package will yield 300 bottles.

These are approximate amounts. Factors such as sediment, wastage and how much of the wine you drink while bottling can affect final number of bottles.

Harvest starts in February/March, depending on what the season has been like.

A hotter summer usually means an earlier start, while a wetter summer tends to delay harvest.

We regularly update our Instagram, Facebook and blogs in the lead up to harvest, to keep our Citizens well informed.

Dogs are welcome to come play with our wine dog Annie, a 3 year old kelpie/blue heeler cross.

We do have free range chickens roaming around most days (except event days), so please keep your dog on a lead if they are likely to chase the chooks.

We don’t allow dogs inside the Winery or Cellar Door.

Picking/Crushing takes around 2 hours total. We have a food truck here on the weekends during harvest, and encourage our Citizens to make a day out of the first stage.

Pressing takes about 45 minutes. As this occurs during harvest, you’re welcome to stick around for beer and wine, as well as food from the food truck.

Racking is the shortest stage, at about 30 minutes.

Bottling takes approximately an hour and a half, depending on the size of the package. Barrique packages will be bottled separately to the Demijohn and Double Demijohn packages, as we will use different equipment.

Fastway courier collects from the Winery on Tuesdays, so place your order is placed by first thing Tuesday morning.

For metropolitan Melbourne, you should expect your delivery Wednesday or Thursday.*

*Transit time

  • Deliveries are conducted during business hours, Monday – Friday only
  • Excludes weekends and public holidays
  • Transit times are estimated
  • May be affected by factors out of Fastway’s control
  • May change without notice

A lot of the time when someone receives the fantastic gift of Rent-A-Row, their email address and phone number don’t get passed on to us.

In the lead up to Harvest, we send out an email to the person who purchased the package asking for contact details of the recipient.

If you haven’t heard from us, it is more than likely we don’t have your details. You can use the contact form below, or email us at Please include the name of the awesome friend who bought the Rent-A-Row package, as that is how it will be entered in our database.

If it has been a while since you received the Rent-A-Row gift, please get in contact with us to commence the winemaking process with the next vintage.

We send out majority of our communication by email, so please ensure we have your current email address.

The first contact will be an email thanking the person who bought the package, along with a copy of the certificate of Citizenship.

Depending on what time of year the Rent-A-Row is purchased, you may receive updates for a few months prior to the start of harvest.

The first harvest update email will be sent towards the end of January, giving you a brief overview of the upcoming harvest and a chance to finalise contact details. After this, we will send out an email with a link to a booking calendar for Picking/Crushing. This will be sent about 2 weeks in advance. Pressing will be booked in person when you pick your grapes.

After this, we will email you around mid-May to book in for Racking and Pruning, which takes place in June and July.

We will email you specifications for your creating your labels in late August/early September, and give you an indication of when Bottling will be.

An email with a link to a booking calendar will be sent to you in October to book in for Bottling.

As always, if you have any specific questions that aren’t answered in our updated FAQ’s, please email Secretary of State Janet.

All of our Rent-A-Row stages are booked via an online calendar booking system. When we are ready to take bookings, the link will be sent to you, and it will be a ‘first in, first booked’ basis. If you want to book in for a date that isn’t within the timeframe of the calendar, please contact Janet to find an alternative date that suits you and The Shiraz Republic.

At most stages of Rent-A-Row, we are able to give you an idea of the timeframe for the stage in advance, so you can coordinate your group. This usually means we have a number of people wanting to ‘pre-book’, but unfortunately, we are unable to book Citizens into the system prior to the calendar going ‘live’.

We understand that most of the stages of Rent-A-row are at times of the year that are busy for a lot of people – it’s busy for us as well, with both the winery and our personal lives. We try to give as much notice as we can so you can organise your visit. Please see the FAQ ‘What’s involved in Rent-A-Row?’ for a rough guideline on when each stage occurs. We also try to give information at each stage on what’s happening next.


Have another question not shown above? Please email us using the form below.

Rent-A-Row Enquiry