When a major Australian wine business closed its Canberra winery in 2003, it provided a great opportunity for the many grape growers and winema
kers in the region who had worked with the business to go out on their own and create their own wine labels.
Having been the principal winemaker in the business, Alex McKay decided to establish Collector Wines. He got off to an amazing start, with one of his first wines, a 2005 Marked Tree Red Shiraz, winning a series of industry awards including New South Wales Wine of the Year.
In 2016, Collector Wines opened its Cellar Door to the public, which is now run by Alex’s brother James and his wife Kate. James says that he and Kate love being part of a growing district that has established an outstanding reputation for cool climate wines. He says they also love living in Collector, which he describes as “uniquely rural but really accessible” due to its location on the Sydney-Canberra corridor.
From a food and wine perspective, James says that Canberra region products are world class, and the district is booming. He has found that local businesses are very supportive of each other, and enthusiastic about working together.
Kate says that raising a family in Collector offers their family the best of both worlds. “It’s a beautiful landscape and to have the kids live out here and be able to go to school in Canberra or Goulburn by hopping on a school bus, it’s brilliant. They get to live the city life in the day and the country life at night.”