Nestled among the gum trees on the banks of the Bullock Creek is one of Bendigos oldest blocks of Shiraz. Planted in the mid 60s by the late Tom Connor who was renowned for his development of Australian farming machinery through his company Connor Shea Machinery. Tom had invented the world’s first pick up baler and post hole digger had visions of perfecting the automatic grape harvester and so set about planting the vineyard in preparation for his retirement. Unfortunately, a demanding business followed by ill health prevented his dreams from coming to fruition. Tom passed away in 1982 and the vines at Connor Park were left to run wild.
In September 1985 Toms nephew, Ross Lougoon and his wife Robyn purchased the property to run as a farming enterprise. Knowing little about grapevines and nothing about wine production Ross and Robyn set about resurrecting the dilapidated vineyard. The old Shiraz vines were deep rooted and produced high quality fruit which was keenly sought after by established wineries.
In 1992 Ross and Robyn decided to extend the vineyard, new plantings of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot were added to the existing block.
1993 saw a slump in fruit sales and this encouraged Ross and Robyn to process some of their crop themselves. The 1993 Shiraz was followed by a Cabernet, a Semillon and a Riesling and in early 1995 Connor Park Winery was born.
Today Connor Park crushes all of their own fruit together with a range of wines from selected vineyards and although the continuing drought has had some effect on the volume of production Connor Park continues to produce a diverse range of outstanding wines .