John and Lynne Derwin came to Foxhill in 2012 from the Yarra Valley.
John is a Civil Engineer and Lynne a Head Chef and restaurant owner who was involved in several restaurants in the Bowral area in the 1980’s. including The Journeyman Bistro and The Briars.
They moved to Sydney where Lynne managed the corporate catering for Ernst and Young in their national office and John managed NSW for a construction company.
In 1994 John was moved to Melbourne and Lynne studied Wine Marketing and Viticulture at Roseworthy College in South Australia. After a lot of research they bought a 65 acre cattle property at Yarra Glen in the beautiful Yarra Valley in 1998 and started Roundstone Vineyard and Winery. By 1999, 20 acres were under vine and in 2001 they opened what was to become the very successful 100 seater restaurant and cellar door.
John left engineering to become winemaker and Lynne ran the restaurant specialising in wood fired cooking with rustic style.
Roundstone traded very successfully winning many awards and recognition for its wine particularly the Gamay. The restaurant was awarded 3 stars in The Age Cheap Eats several years in a row and highly recommended in the Good Food Guide each year until its terrible destruction in the dreadful bushfires that swept through the valley on February 7th 2009.
The restaurant, cellar door, winery, house and all contents, vineyard, irrigation and fencing were lost.
All that survived was the hayshed and the sheep. It took 3 years of hard work to reinstate the fencing, vineyard, pump house and irrigation. However sadly, they were not able to face rebuilding the beautiful buildings and starting again.
The property was sold in 2012 and is managed by De Bortoli Wines and the Gamay still carries the name “Roundstone Vineyard” on the label.
The difficult decision to move back to the Southern Highlands after an absence of 30 years to be closer to their family resulted in the Fox Hill experience, the beginning of a new and exciting chapter.