Dirty Three Wines breaks the mould for winery cellar doors by offering tastings and sales, not amongst its vines, but rather in a chilled and welcoming shed in an industrial estate on the back streets of Inverloch. And we think it’s a stroke of brilliance.
Location: 64 Cashin St, Inverloch, VIC 3996 Ph: (03) 5606 8128
Initially, the Dirty Three Wines cellar door doesn’t look too promising. But then first impressions can be very misleading.
First up, there’s the location. Rather than driving down a bucolic country lane to rows of fruit-heavy vines – as is the norm with most cellar doors – sampling these bottles involves turning left at the Inverloch Mitre 10 and heading into an industrial estate.
Secondly, on arrival, the premises turns out to be a pretty unexciting, corrugated iron-fronted shed, with a loose gravel forecourt. However, step over the threshold and you couldn’t imagine a more different interior. But we’ll tell you more about that below.
In the meantime, let us talk about the name – Dirty Three Wines.
This proudly Gippsland wine producer grows and makes Pinot Noir from 3 seperate areas of ‘dirt’ – as their website lovingly calls them.
And once you know this, putting your promotion and sales space in the busiest town in the area – Inverloch – with its built in population and burgeoning tourist numbers makes perfect sense.
Honestly, we’re surprised more wineries haven’t thought of brazenly courting their nearest tourist market and putting a cellar door somewhere accessible to transitory holiday-makers.
It’s cosy, intimate and, quite frankly, incredibly inviting.
Step in through the black-framed doorway in the corrugated white walls and you find yourself in a truly surprising space.
There’s a simple raven-hued serving counter, backed by a chalkboard. This ‘board carries a map of the extended local area and – specifically – the locations of the 3 patches of Dirt that the winery is named for.
In fact, black is very much the dominant colour inside this particular cellar door, yet it feels a million miles from cold or unsettling. Rather, the ambience is calm and cosseting.
On either side of the counter/bar, there are tables. To the right, a row of high ones with stools. To the left, a lower, communal one. And past this last table there’s an open door which leads out to a back area with more seating. We’re told that on a sunny afternoon both inside and outside are crammed and that local musicians often play to patrons sat around sampling the wine and more.
It sounds like a wonderful way to spend a chilled lunchtime with friends.
Although it’s cold on the day we visit, the inside of Dirty Three Wines is toasty and snug thanks to a wood burning stove radiating heat in a corner.
There are honestly few places more enticing on a bracing Inverloch Sunday.
As you might expect, the What We Love To Eat page leans towards wine friendly favourites.
The young family next to us are clearly regulars and as soon as they arrive, the youngest commandeers the Connect 4 and orders the Margarita Focaccia ($14). Like a number of baked goods on the menu, the dough is Trulli baked. I presume this means that it comes from the fabulous Trulli Bakehouse up the road in Meeniyan.
But whatever it’s provenance, it smells mouth-wateringly good when it appears. Topped with Passata, Mozzarella, Basil, Rocket & Vegan Aioli, for an extra $2, you can also have Salami.
Whilst the kids polish off their order, their parents make short work of the Cheese & Salumi Plate ($45). Championing the produce of local makers is important for the team at Dirty Three Wines and this sharing board reflects that. It is generously piled with 3 Gippsland Cheeses, locally made Salumi, Truli Sourdough, Gluten Free Crackers, Cornichons, Almonds & Dried Apricots.
Meanwhile, we give the Duck & Prune Terrine ($27) a try. Rich and gamey in all the right ways, it comes with Onion & Red Wine Marmalade, Rocket Salad, Conrnichons & Organic Sourdough. And it’s awesome with a glass of the 2022 ‘Magic Dirt’ Pinot Noir ($25/$100/$90).
Which brings us to the drinks…
Apart from the ‘Magic Dirt’ Pinot Noir (given 96 Points by James Halliday, no less), Dirty Three Wines has a number of other bottles to tempt a wine lover.
The 2022 ‘All The Dirts’ Chardonnay ($16/$65/$55) is aged in French Oak Barrels for 9 months and received an impressive 97 Points from Mr Halliday. Personally, I’m a sucker for a pink and the 2023 ‘Vera’ Rose ($12/$43/$33) is wonderfully dry and perfumed with strawberries.
Another delicious drop is the 2022 ‘Satch’ Sparkling Shiraz ($12/$50/$40). The grapes in this finely beaded glassful come from the Pyrenees and – as the blurb states – this would be a great option with a festive dinner.
If you’re unsure where to start with the Wines, never fear. The crew at Dirty Three Wines are more than happy to talk you through their drops and then put together a personalised Wine Flight (4 x 40ml for $20) for you. It’s the ideal way to sample to your heart’s content.
Prefer a Beer? Well, Dirty Three Wines carry a selection from local(ish) brewers. We can vouch that the Golden Ale ($9) from the Burra Brewing Co just up road in Korumburra is very palatable. And keeping things within the region, Dirty Three also stocks Loch Distillery Spirits.
Dirty Three Wines is a fabulous addition to the Inverloch dining and drinking scene.
The unexpected – but very smart – location of the cellar door, the appetising food and the excellent wine are all a huge plus. But there’s also the charm and obvious passion of the team who are clearly proud of their product and their unique cellar door.
And so they should be.