Ken and Judith started the vineyard, winery and cellar door in 1973 and have built it into one of the leading wineries in the Canberra District.
It continues to be a family affair with all of the family (including recent additions) playing an integral part in the business.
Judith or Ken will welcome you at the cellar door.
Handcrafted wines by the family
The winemakers are Ken Helm AM and daughter Stephanie, who are fourth and fifth generation descendants of German vinedressers from the Rhineland, who established vineyards near Albury and Rutherglen in the 1860s.
Ken’s flagship wines are Riesling and Cabernets and he has connections with Riesling makers from all over the world. Trips to the vineyards and wineries of Mosel, the Rhine valley and Bordeaux provided new inspiration and contributed to the development of the wines. In 2000 Ken instigated the Canberra International Riesling Challenge and his role as Chairman for 18 years and continuing role as a Board member, allows him to constantly keep abreast of new developments in Rieslings around the world.
Stephanie Helm started making wine when she was 9 years’ old and produced Trophy, Gold, Silver and Bronze award wines under her own label – The Stephanie Collection. She now owns and operates, along with her husband Ben Osborne, her own winery and cellar door at The Vintner’s Daughter, also in Murrumbateman. Ben is also Vineyard and Winery Manager at Helm Wines.
A blending of food, wine and politics
Matthew Helm (son) trained as a chef at the Hyatt in Canberra and has worked in: Gleneagles Scotland; Kempinski Hotel in Munich Germany; Bathers Pavilion Balmoral Sydney; Oberoi on the Red Sea Egypt; Rayavadee Resort Thailand and Raffles Singapore. He is currently working at Galaxy Casino in Macau, where he lives with his young family. Matthew consults on food and wine matching for Helm Wines.
Natalie Helm (daughter) is a public relations consultant. She provides marketing and public relations advice to Helm Wines and assists at vintage and peak periods at the cellar door.
Trumpeting the district's reputation
A quarter of a century of wine making and promoting, together with pioneering the development of Canberra Region wine styles has been a passion for Ken Helm. He has been involved in the development of the National Wine Show, Cool Climate Wine Show, Wine Press Club of Canberra and in numerous promotional events for the Canberra region. He served for 12 years on Yass Shire Council and 2 years as Mayor (1985 – 1999). From 1988 to 2000 Ken was involved in local and federal politics, lobbying for the wine industry.
In 1999, the NSW Government awarded Ken the Graham Gregory Trophy for a major contribution to the NSW Wine Industry. He instigated the International Riesling Challenge held at the Hyatt in Canberra in 2000 and was awarded the Wolf Blass Award in 2006 for contribution to the promotion of Riesling. In 2010 he was appointed a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia.The award recognises Ken’s service to the Australian wine industry as a winemaker, through the promotion of the Riesling white grape variety and as a supporter of cool climate wine producers and to the community of the Canberra/Yass region.
Escape to Helm Wines for an experience of wine, history, politics and good fun
Helm Wines is more than just a working winery. A visit to Helm Wines involves wine tasting in the historic 100 year old Toual School House, which inspired the use of the school bell on our label. A tasting with Ken may also involve discussing wine, politics and history trivia or perhaps a look behind the scenes on a guided tour of wine making and viticulture. Helm Wines hopes that your visit is not only enjoyable but also educational. At Helm Wines, we believe that “visitors should be treated to not only a good wine, but also to experience the art of wine making”.
An inexpensive family day out, the grounds of Helm Wines offers great potential for a picnic, with picturesque rural scenery and the chance of seeing many native birds and wildlife such as kangaroos, wallabies, hares and shy resident echidna.