A cellar door with "at least six noughts" in the price-tag is an early salvo in the race to attract high-end tourists into Heathcote's wine region, its owners predict.
Peregrine Ridge's owners Graeme Quigley and Sue Kerrison threw open the new cellar doors for Heathcote on Show over the long weekend.
The building will likely encourage more of the region's wineries to open high-end cellar doors in the battle to draw in more tourists, especially from Melbourne, Mr Quigley said.
"I saw the Yarra Valley go through this 20 or 30 years ago ... I can see something similar happening here," he said.
"There are still a lot of cellar doors (in this region) that have a little tack-on bit to the winery and that's a nice experience.
"But a lot of people are wanting a higher quality experience, where they can get a little table service, maybe a little bit of food and something a bit special."
Mr Quigley would not be drawn on the exact amount Peregrine Ridge paid for its new cellar door and function centre, which sits atop a ridge in the Mount Camel range and has a 180 degree view north to south, including Colbinabbin and Rushworth.
"On a super-clear day you can see Mount Buller and Mount Stirling," Mr Quigley said.
"Really, the only reason we have got it (the building) is for the view. Otherwise, why would you spend millions of dollars for a building on top of a hill?"
Designs were drawn up in 2012 but it was only in July 2017 that the first building materials were fabricated, Mr Quigley said.
Not everything was finished, but Peregrine Ridge wanted to open temporarily for Heathcote on Show, ahead of an official launch six to eight weeks later.
"We could either spend all weekend trying to bat them (festival goers) away or we could just open with wine service and let them experience the place," he said.
"Heathcote on Show brings a lot of people to the region and it is, in our view, about getting people out into the wineries - of visiting individual wineries."
There had been a last-minute race to get the building ready to open for Heathcote on Show.
"We have basically gone flat-out for the last three weeks trying to get it to this point," Mr Quigley said.
"The ballustrading was finished at 4pm on Friday and we were still pulling scaffolding down at 4.30."
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