Narkoojee, meaning “place of flowers”, was a dairy farm owned and operated by Edna and Athelstan Friend, since the early 1940s. Their son Harry planted the first experimental vines back in 1980 and with his wife Val, moved to the property from Melbourne in 1995. Narkoojee had very humble beginnings with the Cellar Door operating out of a small weatherboard bungalow at the back of Harry and Val Friend’s house. The grapes were taken to the old butter factory in Glengarry, which served as their first winery. Today the winery enjoys a five red star status as rated by James Halliday.
Father and son team, Harry and Axel Friend make for an unbeatable combination of talents. They share the desire to experiment with new techniques aiming to perfect the winemaking process, which gives Narkoojee wines their unique characteristics. Read More
Our Winemaking Process
The characteristic wines produced by Narkoojee result from a combination of our unique micro-climate, soil profile and experimental winemaking techniques. Read More…
Our original Narkoojee label was in fact a black and white sketch of a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo with a bunch of grapes in its mouth – sketched by Harry and Val Friend’s son, and now Narkoojee’s winemaker, Axel, back when he was at school. This, as well as the cockatoo being prevalent in the region really gave us the idea of using the Sulphur-crested cockatoo on our professional label.
Our label of the 1980s was designed and painted especially for Narkoojee by Gippsland’s renowned wildlife artist in textiles, Annemieke Mein OAM. We loved her work and asked if she was interested in designing our wine label and were thrilled when she generously agreed and provided us with several beautiful options from which to choose. We used Annemieke’s full original version of the cockatoo sketch with a flowering gum superimposed on it as our label for several years.
From the late 1990’s our current label has evolved into a more classic and elegant style, bringing with it only a subtle reminder of the label of earlier years.
We are proud to be a multi-award winning winery and Narkoojee has continued its steady upward trend in performance with the latest edition of the 2016 Halliday Wine Companion. This edition marks our best ever achievement with four wines scoring 95 points and above.
Our winery rating has increased from 5 black stars to 5 red stars to describe an ‘outstanding winery regularly producing wines of exemplary quality and typicity’ putting Narkoojee in the top 10% of Australia’s wineries.
Narkoojee is one of only two Gippsland wineries achieving the 5 red star level of quality.