Cnr Hermitage Rd & Mistletoe Ln, Pokolbin
02 4998 7134
In an industry with dozens of grape varieties, choosing to focus on just two is a daring endeavour.
However, for Andrew Thomas and his team at Thomas Wines, specialising in Hunter Valley semillon and shiraz means they can concentrate on producing the very best of the bunch.
Nationally and internationally acclaimed for its single-vineyard drops, Thomas Wines has attracted an almost cult status for its small range of exceptional wines. This is in part thanks to Andrew Thomas, the boutique winery’s owner and Head Winemaker.
Andrew was introduced to the world of winemaking at a very young age: his father Wayne had a distinguished career making wine in McLaren Vale. Despite being groomed for a lifetime of South Australian winemaking, he turned to the Hunter Valley, where subtlety and savoury-structured wines caught his eye and his palate.
He began his career at Tyrrell’s and stayed there for the next 13 years, developing a great respect and understanding of the two signature varieties of the region: semillon and shiraz. Andrew then ventured overseas, furthering his winemaking skills with vintages in Sonoma, Tuscany, Piedmont and Provence. It was his desire to create wines under the Thomas name that eventually brought him home. In 1997 Thomas Wines was born.
Over the past 20 years, Andrew has formed long-lasting relationships with a number of local growers, each of whom own and operate some of the Hunter Valley’s most distinguished vineyards. When grapes are harvested each year, they are kept separate and processed into distinctly di erent wines, showcasing unique regional characteristics that express a true sense of place.
You can see just how this dedication translates into delicious drops at the Cellar Door. With a range of semillons and shiraz, you won’t be short on variety. One of better-known drops is the Braemore Semillon. Grapes come from the Braemore vineyard, where vines were planted in 1969. The 2016 vintage was hand picked and whole-bunch pressed to minimise phenolics, and fermented with a neutral yeast to enhance purity. This has resulted in a wine with a green hue, intense lime zest fruit characters on the nose and a mouth-watering acidity that provides balance and precision.
Red drinkers will appreciate the equally as revered Kiss Shiraz. Grown on the tough clay and loam soils of the Pokolbin Estate vineyard, it bene ts from the naturally low-cropping vines as they produce fruit of exceptional depth and concentration. The 2014 vintage involved grapes being cold-soaked for 48 hours and then fermented on skins for about seven days. The wine was matured for 16 months in French oak barrels, before being bottled and rested in the cellar for 10 months.
The result is a highly perfumed wine with a deep and vibrant purple hue. It’s medium bodied in weight, but flush with concentrated red and blue fruits, savoury spice and a long tannin structure.
By focusing on the signature varieties of the Hunter Valley, Thomas Wines produces exceptional wines with advanced regional characteristics. Thanks to the skills and hard work of Winemaker, Andrew Thomas, it’s sure to be putting the region’s best foot forward for years to come.