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Boat O’Craigo

I have driven past this winery in the Yarra Valley, always on my way to or from another winery, and I must admit, every time I have driven by I have thought about the ‘unusual’ name and wondered what it meant. For some stupid reason, it never entered my head to see what this place offered, until recently.

A Facebook advertisement for Boat O’Craigo’s Friyay Night Summer Sessions that caught my attention.  A relaxing evening with dinner, wine, live music, and stunning views – what could be better?

Founded by Margaret & Steve Graham, Boat O’ Craigo is a tight-knit family business. Spanning two generations of the Graham family, it is their labour of love that keeps the wine flowing.

Steve and Margaret Graham

Boat O’Craigo was born when Steve and Margaret Graham purchased an idyllic property in Kangaroo Ground on which they planted their first vines in the late 90’s with their maiden vintage in 2003. Some years later, a second established vineyard was purchased in Healesville followed by a significant winery in Warranwood. Their children, who have been brought up in the family business, have now stepped forward to continue the journey and write a new future for Boat O’Craigo.

Travers Graham

Travers Graham, National Sales Manager,  has been a successful entrepreneur, establishing and running his own consulting business for many years. Over this time, Travers has witnessed the growth and development Boat O’Craigo. Travers offers a new set of ideas, skills and experienced to lead the business into the next phase. With the determination to remain true to our founding principles, Travers writes a new chapter which will see the business grow further and create a future for many generations to come

Courtenay Graham

The innovative design of the label, packaging and corporate image of Boat O’Craigo was established by family member Courtenay Graham. After completing a Graphic Design degree at RMIT, Courtenay joined forces with her father to create the unique image for their brand. Mother of two and founder of Frida Plumm boutique homewares, Courtenay continues to work with Boat O’Craigo on all aspects of design.

“We work closely with our winemakers to ensure the style of each wine reflects not only the natural characteristics of our vineyards, but also our brand.”

Peter Payten – Viticulturalist

Peter Payten is the consulting Viticulturist for Boat O’Craigo. Peter has been involved in the industry for 28 years now; with 20 of those years in the Yarra Valley. He spent 12 years managing Long Gully Estate, whilst consulting to other vineyards.

Rob Dolan

Senior contract winemaker Rob Dolan has been a Yarra Valley winemaker for over 20 years and is recognised as one of the great characters of the wine industry. Rob has an outstanding winemaking record and has played a pivotal role in the evolution of the Yarra Valley.

Mark Nikolich

Winemaker Mark Nikolich has 15 years winemaking experience in roles throughout the Yarra Valley, Bendigo and in France.

Boat O’Craigo has 50  acres of vines, spanning across two stunning sites, enabling them to produce outstanding estate grown wines across a range of noble varieties. Head to their Healesville Cellar Door, that has enormous floor to ceiling windows and an outside deck that takes in the vineyard and rolling hills beyond, for  tastings of a wide range of premium estate grown boutique wines available by glass or bottle. There are often some great specials and back vintage museum releases on offer too.

The winery’s Friyay Summer Sessions is a great way to relax after a busy week. Sit back, enjoy a magnificent wines,  casual foods, live music, stunning views, and if you are lucky, watch the  kangaroos and abundant birdlife that call Boat O’Craigo home – you might even be lucky enough to see a wild deer or an echidna.

As for that name I thought ‘unusual’ –

“Our winery’s distinctive name echoes that given to a farm in the town of Craigo in Scotland.

“Where our ancestors settled alongside the docking point for the ferry that crossed the North Esk River. The Boat O’Craigo name and tradition have drifted across seas to settle and book-end Victoria’s burgeoning Yarra Valley with two magnificent vineyards, one in Healesville and the other in Kangaroo Ground. One red, the other white.

“As with the ferry’s docking-point, it is here at the gateways to the Yarra Valley that the physical journey of our travels ends, although the journey of the senses is only just beginning.”

Boat O’Craigo – 458 Maroondah Hwy, Healesville

Friyay Summer Sessions –

Happy hour 5-6pm with $8 glasses of wine & $6 local beers

Live music 6-8pm

Kitchen serving until 8pm



Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun & Mon
Wine tasting and sales: 11am – 5pm

Fri, Sat, Sun
Lunch: 12pm – 3.30pm

by Carol Sheridan