With over 20 years experience in the wine industry Skye and I wanted to change our life direction and get back to the land. Our driving light was to move back to the country with our young family and to make premium red wines in the Clare Valley. We spent two years researching and learning skills as we searched for the right vineyard and we knew we had found our perfect spot with a high set north westerly facing dry grown Shiraz vineyard planted in 1998 in the Skilly Hills set at 465- 480m.
In our first Vintage in 2014 we processed a small 1ton parcel to produce our 1st release – 2014 Thomas Block Shiraz (94pts Halliday) and sold the excess Shiraz fruit to a larger winery. In 2015 we picked 2.5tons of Shiraz and experimented with some Sangiovese, Malbec and Mataro and in 2016 we picked 3.5tons of Shiraz and expanded the wine range by sourcing fruit from interesting vineyards around the Clare Valley. Small parcels of Malbec, Mataro and Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Gris were picked as our wine range continued to expand. Our initial wines were well received and with growing production we needed to develop a way to sell our small batch wines. Our level of production is small and therefore our best option to sell our wines was to create our own small cellar door on our property and in August 2016 we opened our Cellar Door.
In growing vines and producing our first wines, we became part of the 4th Generation to farm in the Clare Valley after my Grandfather and Great Grandfather got the ball rolling in 1936 when they bought property in Sevenhill and the Polish Hill River regions. After my Grandfather returned from World War 2 he was the first to begin breeding award winning Angus stud cattle in the Mid North for the next 60 years.
The focus of our passion is to produce premium wine from small single vineyard sites in the Clare Valley. Parcels of fruit are small from 2-3tons with our main priority being our own dry grown Shiraz vineyard where we have 100% control from vineyard to bottle. We want to produce wines which have high concentration of flavour, complexity and colour that can highlight the unique characteristics across our vineyard in a couple of different expression of Shiraz. We have been able to search out and source fruit from other interesting vineyards sites in the Clare Valley region that have the ability to show a unique personality of the vineyard (terroir) and micro-climate, and capture this in the wines we produce.
Other red varieties include Clare Valley Malbec, Mataro, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache. In 2020 we set about planting new varieties, expanding our own dry grown vineyard to include Malbec, Mataro, Sangiovese, Grenache and Nero d’Avola (plans for Cabernet Sauvignon 2023) to ensure that we can maintain the management, quality and supply of the fruit we use to make our wines in the future, as well as showcase the elegant style of the Clare Valley.
Our winemaking is very minimal intervention, with harvested fruit de-stemmed and fermented in varying size vessels from 700L Nally bins up to 5ton open fermenters depending on the tonnage. Ferments are inoculated with yeast and fermented on skins which are pumped over or hand plunged until dry with no extended skin contacted. Skins are then drained through a basket press to reduce seed tannin and wines then put through Malo and then aged in new or old French oak depending on the vintage and style. The wines are then bottled unfined and unfiltered.
We hope you enjoy our wines!
Mark, Skye, Thomas and Samuel.