US Bluegrass Band SONORAN DOGS In Concert Wednesday November 23

ALL THE WAY FROM TUCSON, Arizona, we have touring US bluegrass band The Sonoran Dogs performing in concert in the cosy, rustic confines of Phillip Island Winery on Wednesday November 23.

This is a ONCE ONLY opportunity to catch the acclaimed bluegrass picking and tight harmonies of “the Dogs” on this leg of their Australian tour.

Formed in 2011, the Sonoran Dogs headlined the 2014 and 2015 Prescott Bluegrass Festivals, as well as the 2014 Tucson Folk Festival and the 2016 Laguna Beach CA ‘Bluegrass BBQ’.

Each seasoned veterans, the Dogs have performed at California’s Summergrass, at Parkfield, Susanville, and Blythe Bluegrass Festivals, and for the San Diego Folk Heritage as well as the Reno Nevada Bower’s Mansion Festival and Colorado’s Fruita Fall Festival. The Sonoran Dogs are regulars at Arizona festivals in Flagstaff, Sedona, Marana, Wickenburg, Lake Havasu, and Casa Grande.

They play a collection of traditional bluegrass standards, new-grass, Americana, folk, Celtic, and original compositions. Dynamic and entertaining, the Sonoran Dogs are not-to-be-missed.

Doors open at 6:30pm (we’ll have our platter, dips and salads menu available), with the show kicking off at 7:30pm.

Date: Wednesday 23 November
To book: 5956 8465
Admission is $20
414 Berrys Beach Road

(And what is a Sonoran Dog? It’s a Mexican-inspired culinary treat particular to Tucson and surrounds and described as “the most delicious hot-dog of all time”.

A Sonoran hot-dog comes wrapped in bacon and grilled until crispy. It’s then stuffed into a split-top roll called a bolillo (pronouced boh-lee-yoh) and topped with pinto beans, chopped tomatoes, grilled and raw onions, mayonnaise, mustard and jalapeño salsa.

Hmmm… might have to add it to the PI Winery menu…)

‘A Cappella’ Sounds of VIVACE Fill Cellar Door

VIVACE, Phillip Island’s own ‘a cappella’ madrigal group, lifted the roof at the Phillip Island Winery’s cellar door in the third of our springtime Twilight Concerts.

Under the direction of arranger Ross Fairhurst, VIVACE performed a magical mix of medieval and modern classics. 

The 16th century Latin ’Gaudete’ bookended a three-set performance of madrigal standards, some ribald ‘Chaucerian-style’ English and Scot folk-songs, a Gaelic blessing, and some latter day classics that even included Redgum’s rousing ‘Poor Ned Kelly’ (written by Trevor Lucas).    

With a full house, and then some, the surreal colours of a stormy sky over a twilight sea provided the perfect ‘other-world’ backdrop for VIVACE’s swelling choral harmonies and tight professional performance.

We’re constantly surprised by the depth of talent and by the diverse music and creative arts we find on Phillip Island.


Ross Fairhurst 'in the moment'

We’re also very pleased to have the opportunity to showcase local performers like VIVACE alongside the eclectic mix of visiting artists we bring to the winery.

Our thanks to Ross and VIVACE for a memorable evening of music.

Watch out for our next Twilight Concert series.

We’ve got a night of balladeers with Mike Cleeland coming up – a tribute to The Great McGonagall; acclaimed as the worst poet in British history. 

On September 30 and October 1, two nights or repertory featuring three well-known professional actors (one an ‘Islander’), and also bluesmen Tabasco Tom and Doc White returning soon.

If you’d like to know more about William McGonagall, check out

Springtime Twilight Concert Series

Bluesmen Tabasco Tom and Doc White

SHAKE OFF WINTER chills to the breezy sounds of springtime blues, ukes and country at the Phillip Island Winery with its springtime twilight concert series.

The program kicks off this Saturday 27th August with a return to the cellar door of the amazing ukulele sounds of AJ Leonard.

If you missed AJ Leonard’s last visit to the winery, don’t miss this one. Recognised as one of Australia’s masters of the instrument, and having featured at international ukulele concerts and conventions, AJ Leonard transforms the sound of the ‘uke’. This Saturday he will be joined by cello accompanist and partner Jenny Rowlands. 

Whether playing a rock ‘lead-guitar’ solo or jazz standard, his virtuosity and command of the instrument is simply amazing.

Equally at home playing Beatles as he is playing trad classics, AJ is also a versatile singer with an easy rapport and engaging style. This Saturday, you can catch up with AJ Leonard from 5:30pm till 8:30pm at the cellar door.

And, on Sunday afternoon starting at 1:30pm, local folk/country trio, The Usual Suspects, are performing, playing until 4:30pm. With Andy on guitar, Linda on mandolin and ukulele, and Tom on bass, The Usual Suspects will be bringing their own easy-listening folk and country style to our cosy cellar door.

Also pencil in Saturday 3rd September when the winery will be jumping to the classy blues and country of expatriate US ‘bluesmen’ Tabasco Tom and Doc White. With Tom’s daughter on fiddle, Tom and Doc play tight authentic southern blues.

 Tim O’Brien plays every Saturday and Sunday afternoon at the Phillip Island Winery. Admission is free; twilight concerts kick off at 5:30pm, but best to arrive around 5:00pm. Light dinner platters are also available.

Singer Songwriter Returns For Twilight Concert

SINGER SONGWRITER Jacqui Sterling returns to the Phillip Island Winery this coming Saturday afternoon, 30th July, for a ‘twilight concert’ from 5:30pm.

Jacqui’s last appearance at the winery had the cellar door packed out; all enthralled by her warm and engaging style and gorgeous voice.

Formerly of Byron Bay, now San Remo, Jacqui’s ‘gypsy spirit’ has seen her playing her songs to audiences all over the world. She has toured Australia as well as Europe – touring England, Ireland, France, Spain and Portugal.

With a strong, rhythmic, acoustic guitar style, Jacqui’s music and delivery crosses a number of acoustic music genres. Her songs – melodic, finely crafted and beautifully sung – are immensely appealing.

Her current CD, Bird in the Hand, is a stylish collection of original songs telling stories of her journey. “I have lived and breathed music for as long as I can remember,” Jacqui said. “Music and yoga have been my constant in life and song writing has been my tool of self expression, healing and connection.”

Jacqui Sterling, ‘up close and personal’ and returning to the casual laid-back atmosphere of the Phillip Island Winery, is a performance not to be missed.

Jacqui will be performing from 5:30pm – 8:30pm, Saturday evening only. Admission is free.

Former Golden Guitar nominee Tim O’Brien will also perform. Call in for a wine, a delicious fresh food platter and some classy acoustic music.

An Evening With Redgum’s Hugh McDonald

WELL-KNOWN GUITARIST AND VOCALIST Hugh McDonald is appearing at the Phillip Island Winery this Saturday, July 16th, for an ‘up close and personal’ twilight concert in our cosy, warm cellar door.

A multi-instrumentalist, Hugh is one of the hottest players around (and an engaging performer). He enjoyed a successful career touring Australia and the world with one of the leading bands of the 1980s, Redgum. He has since been a headline act at numerous concerts and festivals around Australia.

Redgum remains one of Australia’s best-known bands, remembered for the number one hit and Vietnam veteran tribute, “I Was Only Nineteen”.

Hugh wrote many of Redgum’s popular songs, most notably “The Diamantina Drover” which has since been recorded by Lee Kernigan, John Williamson, and Christy Moore, one of Ireland’s most popular singer/songwriters.

He is also a skilled record producer, arranger and session musician who has worked and recorded with many of Australia’s leading acts and soloists.

Phillip Island Winery’s resident musician (and winery owner) Tim O’Brien will also perform. Admission is free. A warm fire, five-star wines, delicious light platters and ‘up close and personal’ with Hugh McDonald, this Saturday, July 16th, 5:30pm – 8:30pm.

Where: Phillip Island Winery, Berry’s Beach Road, Phillip Island.

Time: 5:30pm – 8:30pm.

Admission is free, bookings accepted. Call: 5956 8465

Ukuleles Return For Winter Concert

FRESH FROM A TOUR performing across the USA, internationally recognised ukulele master, AJ Leonard, returns to the Phillip Island Winery for a twilight indoor concert this Saturday evening, 18th June, from 5:30-8:30pm.

His recent US tour included performances at the New York Ukulele Festival and the Ukulele Academy of North Carolina. He also performed on the West Coast at Santa Cruz (host to the largest ukulele club in the world) and at San Francisco, before appearing at the Monterey Wine Country Ukulele Retreat.

There, AJ was one of a feature group of well-known tutors and ukulele performers including James Hill, Andy Roberts, Del Ray, Brooke Adams and Gerald Moore.

Equally at home playing Beatles classics as he is with popular 40’s and 50’s ukulele standards, AJ Leonard is well known by ukulele devotees around Australia for his amazing dexterity, finely-crafted arrangements and breezy singing style. 

“The renaissance of interest in the ukulele in the USA is amazing, and it’s catching on everywhere,” AJ said.

“The highlight of our recent tour however was a meeting in Honolulu with Roy Sakuma, the legendary teacher and organiser of the world’s longest running ukulele festival at Waikiki.” 

 At the Phillip Island Winery, AJ Leonard will be supported on cello by his partner, Jenny Rowlings – an accomplished and polished performer in her own right.

This is a not-to-be-missed concert, admission is free. Come and enjoy the warm fire, delicious wines and a light platter menu to the cheerful strains of the ukulele.

Resident folk-singer and winery owner, Tim O’Brien, will also perform.

Ukulele Concert from 5:30pm; to book, call 5956 8465.

Twilight Ukulele Concert Sunday 23rd January At Winery

AJ Leonard's Tropical Lounge

UKULELE MASTER, A J LEONARD, and his band the Tropical Lounge are returning to the Phillip Island Winery on Sunday, 23rd January (Australia Day week), for a twilight concert from 5:30pm. If you missed AJ Leonard and the Tropical Lounge’s last visit, don’t miss this one.

Playing both old and latter-day classics, the breezy sound of ukuleles, cello, fiddle and accordion, and with wonderful tight harmonies, is absolutely irresistible. 

Recognised as one of Australia’s pre-eminent exponents of the ukulele, A J Leonard has been a feature performer at the Ukulele Picnic of Hawaii, Illawarra Folk Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival and Cairns Ukulele Festival.

Featuring classic, swing and island music from the 20’s and 30’s, and originals, the Tropical Lounge’s unique blend of ukuleles, strings, vocal harmonies and percussion will have the winery hopping.

Come along, enjoy some delicious wines, and generous cheese and fresh food platters, and while away the summer evening to the liquid sounds of the ukulele. Admission is free (no cover charge) – this is an evening not to be missed.

With Jenny Rowlands on cello, Wendy Rowlands on accordion, violin and vocals, and David Billings on ukulele, guitar and vocals, it will be huge fun and a great evening of music, wine and fine food.

Music kicks off at 5:30.

Phillip Island Winery Warms To The Tropical Sounds Of The Ukulele

Ukulele master, AJ Leonard

DESPITE A DELUGE, the Phillip Island Winery fell under the spell of ukuleles, cello, fiddle and accordian, when AJ Leonard’s Tropical Lounge charmed the grey from a soggy Sunday afternoon. 

God knows how we all managed to fit in (and to serve food). But, having to cancel plans of holding the event outside, more than 80 guests crammed into the cellar door over the afternoon to tap along to ukulele master AJ Leonard and his band.

Playing swing and popular classics from the 1930s, ’50s, and to the Beatles and beyond, the Tropical Lounge brought the sunshine in for an afternoon of great music and the astonishing versatile sounds of the ‘uke’.  

Featuring AJ Leonard and Dave Billings on ukuleles, and Wendy and Jenny Rowlands on cello, fiddle and accordion, the Tropical Lounge will be coming back to the Phillip Island Winery over January (watch out for our next concert).