63 Holkham Court, Orford TAS
(03) 6257 1630
Located in the seaside village of Orford, Darlington Vineyard is a boutique winery that welcomes you in like an old friend, showcasing the unique world of Tasmanian wine in a picturesque setting.
Retired design and technology teacher, Paul Stranan, and his wife, Louise, took over the vineyard in 2004 as part of their ‘vine change’. Since then they have sought to preserve the historical significance of their patch of paradise, preserving the name it inherited from a now-extinct winery on nearby Maria Island.
The first grapes were planted in 1993 but the first vintage wasn’t until 1998. Since that first year Darlington has produced esteemed Australian wines, best enjoyed in a personable and intimate surrounding. The Stranans’ passion for the estate ensures that visitors to the winery are in the most accomplished of hands.
With a north-east facing aspect overlooking the clear waters of Prosser Bay, Darlington Vineyard is home to dry, East Coast conditions. It taps into these to produce pinot noir, riesling, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc grapes across 5,000 vines.
Likened to ‘an artist’ – in the sense that a bit of a struggle brings out the best in them – Darlington grapes are unique due to their interaction with the Tasmanian landscape. The creekside location means the sandy loam covers a reservoir of wet clay, which provides moisture through the drier summer months. This ensures the quality of the grapes is maintained from the moment of bud-burst to the moment of harvest in late March or early April, when the vines are hand picked.
These conditions, as well as the expertise of Paul, Louise and their contract wine-making team, means Darlington wines have been strongly represented among award winners at the Tasmanian Wine Show.
You can try all their drops at the Cellar Door, where the experience is tailored to your tastes. From the pleasantly acidic tones of the dry riesling, which pairs beautifully with fresh local oysters and grilled white fish, to the fruity hints of the Darlington Pinot Noir, there is no shortage of choice for each visitor.
Paul describes a visit to Darlington as “dropping in on friends at their farm gate”. So it is only fitting that the couple has developed a casual and welcoming experience that educates visitors about the area, its seasonal conditions and the vintages on offer.
A walk around the vineyard reveals the pure beauty of the location and its suitability for special events, with a open-air function space for up to 100 people, consistent with Paul and Louise’s emphasis on small and close-knit experiences.
Darlington Vineyard defines the sophistication, intimacy and style of a boutique winery. With the attention to each and every visitor, pristine views and exquisite wine being served, Darlington Vineyard has put its best foot forward.