Local boutique winery named State’s best vineyard

CLOVER Hill wines at Tea Tree has been named the Tasmanian vineyard of the year. The recognition comes at an exciting time for Clover Hill, as it plans to open a new cellar door  investing more than $1million at its main Lebrina site due to be open later in the year.

Clover Hill, which was established in 1986 on the site of an old dairy farm in North-East Tasmania by the Goelet family, is one of the country’s principal producers of sparkling wine.

Clover Hill’s vineyards dominates the landscape in the Coal River Valley.
Clover Hill’s vineyards dominates the landscape in the Coal River Valley.

The win is an impressive result for winery and its viticulturist Alex van Driel, who manages both the Tea Tree Vineyard and the main site at Lebrina in the state’s north east, producing high quality grapes for the Clover Hill label.

The judging panel was particularly impressed with Clover Hill’s ability to overcome a string of recent environmental challenges including unusually dry weather this year.

The panel said: “Clover Hill’s Alex van Driel has brought the vineyard through several challenges to one that is producing increasing yields of premium quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for sparkling wine.

“While the extremely dry season presented problems with restricted irrigation water, Alex has carefully managed an irrigation program to deliver fruit of the high standard required for Clover Hill,” said the judging panel.

The annual vineyard of the year competition is run by the Royal Agricultural Society of Tasmania (RAST) to promote excellence in viticulture management, recognising that the process of creating great wines begins long before they hit the glass.

Adam Torpy, CEO of Goelet Wines, said the award was a great honour for the business and was the result of an unwavering determination to continue to invest in Tasmania.

“Clover Hill pioneered sparkling wine in Tasmania 30 years ago so it’s fantastic to receive this official recognition from our industry peers,” he said.

“Our Tea Tree Vineyard was established less than six years ago to meet the growing demand for the production of our Clover Hill label, which until recently was produced from a single location in Pipers River. The award is a real credit to Alex and his team who have managed to achieve fantastic yields from these vines in a relatively short period of time.

“It was tough early on with this Tea Tree vineyard. But since 1986 we have continued to invest in the Tasmanian industry, and now we are seeing the dividends,” Mr Torpy said.

A field day where the industry learnt more about Clover Hill’s viticultural management program was held at the Tea Tree Vineyard mid last month.

“Clover Hill remains deeply committed to wine and wine tourism in Tasmania,” Mr Torpy said.

*Article information sourced from The Shout, which is an industry newsletter, and the Mercury newspaper