OUR VISION – Award winning dry grown Clare Valley red wines
“Award winning dry grown Clare Valley red wines” was our vision and with over 25 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 the Clare Valley was a region that held a lot of memories and family history. We found a vineyard and it ticked all the boxes, it was the perfect spot with a high set north westerly facing dry grown Shiraz vineyard planted in 1998 in the Skilly Hills set at 465- 480m. The Clare Valley despite its marketing focus and reputation for world class Riesling, it is a fantastic region for red wine production with nearly 65% of the vineyards producing red grape varieties and in recent years has been highlighted by the region winning Best Shiraz and Best Cabernet Sauvignon in the World.
In our first Vintage in 2014 occurred only 5 weeks after we took ownership, and we processed a trial small 1ton parcel to produce our 1st release – 2014 Thomas Block Shiraz (94pts Halliday) and the excess Shiraz fruit was sold to another winery. In 2015 we picked 2.5tons of Shiraz and experimented with small parcels of Sangiovese, Malbec and Mataro. In 2016 we picked 3.5tons of Shiraz and continued to source small parcels of fruit from around the Clare Valley that included Malbec, Mataro and Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Gris. Our initial wines were well received and as we expanded our production, we initiated phase 2 and set about developing a small tasting room to showcase our small batch wines. Our tasting room/cellar door opened August 2016
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 returning from the war my Grandfather started his Angus cattle stud breeding award winning Angus cattle in the Mid North for the next 60 years.
We our passionate about what we do and that is producing premium red wines from small single vineyard sites in the Clare Valley. Our main priority being our 15ac vineyard where we have 100% control from vineyard to bottle and we managed it sustainably and with organic techniques. The foundation of our production is own dry grown 12ac shiraz vineyard, and the 2.5ac Thomas Block section is the area of the vineyard that produces shiraz of high concentration of flavour, complexity and colour. It highlights the unique characteristics of terroir across our vineyard as we can produce a couple of different expressions of Shiraz across the vineyard.
We have searched out and sourced fruit from interesting vineyards sites across the Clare Valley region from Armagh to Polish Hill River to the Skilly Hills. These areas have the ability to show the best profile of the different red varieties that perform so well in this environment. These vineyards and special sections of vineyards show unique qualities of terroir and micro-climate, and we try capture this in the wines we produce. These other red varieties include Malbec, Mataro, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache.
In 2020 we set about on an ambitious project to remove 50 rows of Shiraz (4ac) and replant 4ac and 2ac of new sections of vineyard to include Malbec, Mataro, Sangiovese, Grenache and Nero d’Avola and in 2023 Cabernet Sauvignon 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 5 ton 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.