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About Us

The people, the vineyard, the winemaking


Michael and Wendy O'Dea followed their dream to develop and open their own Winery.  After many years visiting wine regions and being envious of the people working in the wine industry, they did a lot of research, developed a cunning plan, sold their home and moved to Murrumbateman - home to serious wines.  They moved to Murrumbateman in 1996 and worked towards a planting of vines in 1998.  It took a couple of years to pull down fences, set up trellising and install irrigation.

Located at an altitude of 600m Dionysus Winery is ideally suited to the production of high quality wine. The vineyard was planted over three years, commencing in 1998. In all, 10 acres of vines have been planted. The varieties planted were: Cabernet Sauvignon; Shiraz; Pinot Noir; Merlot; Chardonnay; Sauvignon Blanc; and Riesling. Since the original planting and after many a discussion between Michael and Wendy, we have now planted Tempranillo, Viognier and Gamay. 

The winery was constructed in 2000 and operation commenced at the beginning of 2001. After several years of hard work, worry about the weather and balancing full time jobs as well, Michael and Wendy produced a decent crop of Cabernet and Shiraz in the first year.  Not bad for a pair of public servants! Having just finished their 21st vintage the wines are proving to be very popular at cellar door. The range has expanded, the oak has changed and the label has changed since the first vintage.  Michael and Wendy strive to contiunally improve the overall experience at Dionysus Winery.

Michael has completed an Associate Degree in Winegrowing at Charles Sturt University and is chiefly responsible for Winemaking and Viticulture. Wendy has completed Viticulture and Winemaking Courses at the Canberra Institute of TAFE as well as a Small Business Management Course and is chiefly responsible for wine marketing and business planning.

Who is Dionysus?

The winery was named after the Greek God, Dionysus. Dionysus was a very interesting God who led his life to the full.  Born to the great god, Zeus and a mortal woman, Semele, Dionysus grew to be a bit of a party boy and a womaniser. He used to frollick in the forest with a group of women called Maenads.  These women would abandon themselves to the god and forget that they were wives, mothers sisters and daughters.  They took time out of their busy lives to pleasure themselves. Things got a bit grim at the end of the night for their playthings!

Dionysus finally met and fell in love with a beautiful princess, Ariadne on the island of Naxos.  Ariadne was a bit tired from having saved Theseus (by giving him a ball of string and helping him slay the Minotaur) and then being dumpled and left on the island. Dionysus and Ariadne led a happy life ands had many children.   

At Dionysus Winery we celebrate the important women in the life of Dionysus by naming the Rose after the Maenads and the Sparkling Chardonnay/Pimot Noir after Ariadne.

A note of warning for the above information - don't use this as a reference in any academic papers!  It is true but probably not in keeping with the many fine writings about Greek Mythology. 

The Team

The team at Dionysus is dedicated to providing a fun and welcoming environment at the cellar door and high quality wines. Our Cellar Door Manager, Sam, will greet you and treat you to an informative tasting experience. Sam loves wine and is sure to enthrall you with her opinions on each wine. Jack is from a winemaking family and is a wine fanatic. His descriptions of the wines are poetic and he will take you on a journey in your glass. Michael and Wendy will also be lurking at the Cellar Door to ensure you have a great time.

Dionysus Winery is a very small, boutique winery that is family owned and operated.  An impossible task for two people that requires the support and hard work of friends and family.  The vineyard was set up using free labour from family and friends and the first planting was an excuse for 50 people to try out their gardening and partying skills!  The first vine was planted on 3 October 1998 by Wendy's grandmother, May (on her 89th birthday), followed by another 3000 vines planted by friends and family.  The planting was quick, although several vines did have to be replanted the right way up on the following day!

Since the first planting we have had tremendous support from our kids, Peter and Lizzy as well as our siblings. Nothing like errecting a huge insultated shed to build the biceps (John) or the precision required to correctly fill bottles on chilly days (Jack).  

Important note - don't encourage your friends or family to start a winery - you'll be roped into helping!!!

Check out this cool video of Dionysus Winery that explains a bit more about us.

The Vineyard

Dionysus Winery and vineyard are nestled in the rolling hills east of the village of Murrumbateman in the Canberra District. The vineyard is planted in fertile granite based volcanic soils. The climate of this area is similar to Canberra with a rainfall of around 600mm per year and cool autumns that contribute the quality of the wines produced in this area.

The vineyard uses minimal chemicals and can look a bit messy at times!  The limited use of chemicals ensures that the soil has plenty of protection from the harsh sun in summer (via weeds) and moisture remains in the ground.  By lifting the canes in summer to expose the fruit, each vine gets a nice hit of sunlight - but not enough to get sunburnt.  Michael carefully thins the Pinot Noir to ensure that the nutrients travelling through the vines go to ripen a smaller number of bunches and create better fruit flavour intensity.

The first planting at Dionysus Winery was in October 1998, when 1.5 acres each of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz were planted. These vines were devastated by the October 1998 frost, however almost all recovered and grew up to the cordon wire in the first season. Chardonnay (1.5 acres), Sauvignon Blanc (1 acre) and Merlot (1 acre) were planted in 1999. Pinot Noir (1 acre) and Riesling (1.5 acres) were planted in 2000 and produced their first crop in 2004. Since the original planting Michael has added Gamay, Tempranillo and Viognier to the offerings.

The fruit is picked with a combination of mechanical harvesting and hand picking.  The sparkling wine, pinot, chardonnay and Riesling are handpicked to ensure only the best bunches are used in the winery.


The winemaking approach at Dionysus is simple; attention to detail at every stage of the process is paramount. For the floral white varieties cool fermentation techniques are in favour to emphasise the fruit characters. For the reds the emphasis is on warm fermentation, followed by 12 to 24 months in French oak barriques to soften the tannins and enhance the fruit flavours.


Privacy Statement 

In this policy, “us”, “we”, or “our” means Dionysus Winery, operators of this website. We may, from time to time, review and update this privacy policy, including taking account of new or amended laws, new technology and/or changes to our operations. All personal information held by us will be governed by the most recently updated policy.


The personal information we collect falls into four categories: contact details, click trails, activity history, and publishable content.

Contact details are collected as supplied by you from time to time. We do not personally store
usable credit card information. Where a record is required, we entrust credit cards to our payment gateway and store only the last few digits and expiry date of your credit card solely for purposes of identity confirmation and forewarning of expiry.

Click trails record the paths taken by visitors through the website. This information is generally recorded against IP address, and may be possible to correlate by computer.

Activity History consists of orders, enquiries, votes submitted via the website, or offline contact you have with us such as phone calls.

Publishable content consists of comments or other submissions of content you would like us to
publish on our website.


Contact details and publishable content are collected when supplied by you either via the website or direct to us by other means.

Click trails are recorded by our servers as each request reaches the website. This includes but is not limited to:

  • The type of browser you are using
  • The date and time of your visit
  • Your IP address
  • The address of the website that referred you to ours
  • The addresses of pages accessed and any documents downloaded

Click trails can be correlated over time by the use of ‘cookies’ as outlined in section 6. In most cases click trail data is not directly individually identifiable.

Activity history is recorded whenever you undertake an activity such as submit an enquiry, make a comment, vote on an object, and may additionally be recorded by us when you contact us offline.


Publishable content is collected and republished where applicable in order to enable a two-way
conversation in public between us and our visitors.

We collect your personal contact details and activity history:

  • To respond to requests or queries you raise
  • To confirm your identity
  • To fulfill orders made by you
  • To keep you up to date with news, special offers, and other marketing information you have
    opted-in to receive.

We collect click trail data:

  • To measure and monitor the performance of our website
  • To estimate interest in our products and services
  • To refine and update our website’s content
  • To monitor our website for violations of the terms of use or any applicable laws by visitors


We may disclose your personal information to third parties, and you consent to us disclosing your personal information to third parties, under the following circumstances:

  • As part of a sale of all or part of our business
  • When explicitly authorised to do so by yourself at the time you supply the information
  • As required or authorised by any applicable law
  • As required for processing of credit card payments by Internet Payment Gateways and
    Merchant Facilities.
  • As part of any investigation by us into you or your activity on our website (including to your
    Internet Service Provider or network administrator)

If we have reason to believe that you have committed a breach of any of our terms of use or have been otherwise engaged in any unlawful activity and we reasonably believe that disclosure is necessary (including to the Police or any other enforcement body, or to your Internet Service Provider or network administrator)

To lessen or prevent a serious threat to a person’s health or safety


When you submit content to us for publication (including but not limited to comments, testimonials, votes, or forum posts) you assign us a transferrable, perpetual right to publish and/or commercially exploit said content without limitation. You also warrant in submitting such content that the content is owned or produced by yourself or you otherwise have permission to assign publication rights to us. Publication rights do not extend to fields specifically marked as private (e.g. your email address), except in cases of clear violations of our terms of use.

Content submitted by you for publication may be disclosed to all visitors of our website, and/or republished on other websites at our discretion.

If you provide personal information either of your own or of any third party as part of publishable
content, you warrant that you have permission to publish said information and indemnify us against
any consequences resulting from the publication of said information.

If you find your personal information published on our website without your consent, please contact
us immediately as outlined in section 10.


Upon completion of your order, we will supply a Tax Invoice to you in the form of an email. Please ensure that the email address you have provided us is correct.


Cookies are electronic tokens containing small amounts of information that are passed between a web browser and server. They are used to maintain session state between pages or to retain information between visits if you return to the website at a later time.

We use cookies to correlate passive activity tracking data as well as to authenticate supply of information such as enquiries, comments, and votes to minimise malicious or spam traffic.


You may opt out from the correlation of passive activity data by turning off cookies in your browser. Please note however that disabling cookies may result in a reduction of available functionality on our site including but not limited to the loss of the ability to post comments and vote on content.

When you supply us with your email address you may be asked to opt in to receive marketing information by e-mail or other means.

You will be given the opportunity to opt out from receiving further communications from us in accordance with this policy each time we send you information for which you have opted in. This comes in the form of an ‘unsubscribe’ link, generally in the footer and/or header of each email.

If you receive any communication purporting to be connected with us or our products or services that you believe has been sent to you other than in accordance with this policy, or in breach of any law, please contact us immediately as outlined in section 10.


With the exclusion of information supplied for publication (as outlined in section 5), we will take all reasonable steps to ensure that the personal information we hold is not lost, misused, or inadvertently provided to unauthorised third parties, including by means of firewalls, password locking, truncation of credit card data, encryption of data in transit, and secured servers.

You acknowledge that the security of communications sent by electronic means cannot be guaranteed. You provide information to us via the internet at your own risk. We cannot accept responsibility for misuse or loss of, or unauthorised access to, your personal information where the security of information is not wholly within our control.

You must ensure the security and confidentiality of any username and/or password used by yourself to access this website. You agree that you will be held responsible for all activities which occur under your username and password (including but not limited to publication of illegal or defamatory material or any other unlawful activity, or unauthorised charging of your credit card).

You agree that we are not responsible for the privacy or security practices of any third party and that the collection and use of your information by third parties may be subject to separate privacy and security policies.

If you suspect any misuse or loss of, or unauthorised access to, your personal information, please contact us immediately as outlined in section 10.


You have the right (excluding exceptions outlined in the Privacy Act) to seek access to and update or correct the personal information we hold about you. If you make an access request, we will ask you to verify your identity. We may charge a fee to cover the costs of meeting your request.

If you would like to seek access to personal information we hold about you, you can contact us as
outlined in section 10.


If you have any questions or complaints about how we collect, use, disclose, manage or store your personal information, or would like to request access or changes to the information we hold, please contact us in writing at 1 Patemans Lane Murrumbateman NSW 2582.



ABN: 36 583 780 692

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