Story of Fenian Wines at Sandstone Estate

Fenian/ fi:nien/ umbrella term for the Fenian Brotherhood and Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) dedicated to the establishment of an independent Irish Republic in 19th and 20th centuries


The Fenian Wines label was born in 2012 with the first commercial release by winemaker Eammon (Ed) Donnelly and partner in crime Bronny Donnelly.

What started out as a hobby and a love of wine, soon became a passion, and the desire to learn more drove Ed to complete his Associate Degree in Wine-growing in 2004 at Charles Sturt University.

For a number of years, Ed made small volumes of wine from grapes sourced from local vineyards on the Mornington Peninsula, working with different varietals and steadily increasing the volume every year.

Ed worked many vintages on the Peninsula with T’Gallant, Red Hill Estate, and also a vintage at Hugel in Alsace, France, as well as much time spent in a number of vineyards across the Mornington Peninsula.

Ed's philosophy of winemaking is a belief that quality starts in the vineyard. Getting the ideal fruit takes an immense amount of hard work in the vines continually. To ensure the winemaking process is expressing the best out of that fruit, we are constantly improving our processing techniques and strive to be the best.

All of our wines are made with love whilst using minimal handling to ensure we get the best out of our fruit.

Beginning 2016 marked the start of an exciting new chapter at Fenian Wines, together with the Lew family, a union between Fenian Wines and Sandstone Estate was formed. Today Fenian Wines at Sandstone Estate operates a 6.5-acre vineyard planted in the early 90's, a cellar door, and a winery.

Where the vineyard is specifically located the soil is red clay transitioning to brown loam giving good minerality to our white wines, whilst enhancing our earthy Pinots. The east-west orientation of the vines allows a cooler slower ripening especially for our Pinots again! These conditions are ideal for our cool-climate style of wines such as our award-winning Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris.

The Red Hand

There are a lot of curious punters out there that ask about the red hand and we always like to explain while we ponder over a cheeky Chardonnay or Pinot at our cellar door. The Red Hand ( Irish: Lamh Dhearg Uladh) to denote the province of Ulster and features significantly in the Ui Neill clan in the North of Ireland and their associated families, including the Donnellys. Its mythical origins are many but is first seen as early as the 13th century.

The term Fenian is a word derived from the Irish Fianna meaning an army (or plural of Fiann : "soldier") Fenian/ fi:nien/ umbrella term for the Fenian Brotherhood and Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) dedicated to the establishment of an independent Irish Republic in 19th and 20th centuries.

Fenian Wines is located on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula, producing fine wines in small volume.

Our focus is mainly on estate grown Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay, which is what the Mornington Peninsula are best known for! Fenian Wines are thoughtfully produced in such a way to fully allow expression of the characteristics of each varietal.

Cead Mile Failte.... A thousand welcomes, come and try our wines at our cellar door soon.