The Bendooley Team
Bendooley Estate is Paul Berkelouw’s childhood home. It’s the place where his father, Leo Berkelouw, built up the family book business that had started as a humble proposition in Holland in the early 1800s. Two hundred years and six generations of book dealers later, Berkelouw Books has become internationally renowned. But as technological advances swept through the industry and changed the face of the book world several years ago, the Berkelouw Family knew that their business must change with the times.
The Berkelouw’s long-treasured Book Barn, sitting in the middle of their magnificent 200-acre farm seemed like the perfect place to begin their dream-change — a unique wedding and event venue that would provide a beautiful place to celebrate with friends. Paul and his wife Katja harnessed their passion for viticulture and paddock-to-plate food, remodelled the Book Barn and reimagined their beautiful heritage homestead and gardens, planted a vineyard, built a stunning stone-hewn cellar door and luxurious rustic-chic cottages for guests, and put together an incredible team of professionals. Bendooley Estate as it stands today is the incarnation of one couple’s innovative dream to preserve tradition while embracing change.
Books are still the beating heart of Bendooley Estate — they are a part of the scenery and the form the very fabric of the place. Leo can still be found surrounded by piles of antiquarian books in the Rare Book Department or sitting in the restaurant enjoying the vibrant evolution he has helped to bring about.
When not overseeing the running the Estate, Paul and Katja spend time managing the many facets of their book business and spending time with their four gorgeous children who are lucky enough to share the same bucolic childhood as their father— riding horses, climbing trees and reading books on Bendooley Estate.
There are so many other individuals who form a part of the 100+ team at Bendooley Estate. The Berkelouw Family are just the beginning. Special mention must go to our managers, wedding coordinators, our kitchen and wait staff, meticulous cleaners and our four gardeners who look after not only the heritage gardens, the manicured lawns and produce areas, but also the farm and its animals. Each member of the team works hard to make your visit special. We hope you enjoy the fruits of our labours.