purple hen

Purple Hen is located on a small peninsula on Phillip Island, overlooking the Bay of Western Port with beautiful views of Swan Inlet, Churchill Island and Denne Bight. The name is taken from the Purple Swamp Hen that are in considerable numbers on the Island.

The venture began in 2001 when Rick Lacey and Maira Vitols purchased the property - 32 hectares of prime grazing land. Planting of vines began in January 2002 with the first vintage in 2004. An on-site winery was established in 2005 and the Cellar Door opened at Easter 2006.

In the ensuing years we have expanded the vineyard to its current 9.5 hecatres and established an enviable record for producing elegant and strongly varietal wines.

The largest planting is Pinot Noir followed by Shiraz. Other varieties are, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Viognier and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Terroir of the site is dominated by the moderating impact of the Bay and the basalt derived soils - clay loam topsoils over clay subsoils. Climatically, the site is ideal for Pinot Noir, with summer peaks in temperature being limited by the cooling effect of the Bay. That said, the site is quite vigorous and the vineyard requires considerable time and effort in canopy control, leaf plucking and the like. 

Winemaking at Purple Hen is a team affair - both in terms of people and in the close integration between vineyard and winery. Work done in the vineyard is as much or more important to that in the winery. Key winery and vineyard operatives are Rick, Pip Farr and Adam Corey with Maira focusing on the cellar door. 

Our Cellar Door is open throughout the year from 11am to 5:30pm.

We operate 7 days a week, from Boxing Day to the end of Easter, and during Victoria’s School Holidays, we are also open 7 days a week.  From the end of Easter to Christmas Eve we operate 5 days a week  (closed Tuesday and Wednesday),

We have a wine tasting fee of $5 per person, which is not charged if a bottle is purchased.

We do not allow bus or tour groups except by appointment.

We have some simple platters and nibbles available, but we are not a restaurant or cafe. 


96 McFees Road,

Rhyll, Victoria 3923

Ph: (03) 5956 9244