There’s something truly enchanting about Tasmania. From the fresh air and rolling green hills to the stunning ocean coastlines, it is a place so unique that you’ll be hooked after just one visit. One trip was all it took for Wang Shan Feng to purchase a pocket of land north of Richmond before transforming it into Nocton Vineyard.
During her trip to the Apple Isle in the early 1990s, Wang Shan discovered the beauty of our most southern state, falling in love with quality of produce, air, water and life – a stark contrast to her home in Beijing. She dreamt of taking something back home to China that embodied this experience, something that came directly from the natural environment. In purchasing the plot and creating Nocton Vineyard, Wang Shan and her family are able to share the natural wonders of Tasmania with family, friends and others in China and beyond.
Continuing to oversee the day-to-day operations and carry out Wang Shan’s vision is Anthony Woollams. With nearly 25 years in the industry, working for brands such as Pipers Brook, Ninth Island and Pirie Tasmania, Anthony was an ideal candidate to operate the vineyard.
The property itself dates back to 1813, when the parcel of land was part of the larger Carrington Park. After being subdivided into smaller areas, the property received the name Nocton Park, after Lord Hobart’s ancestral home in England. It’s a title that has remained ever since.
Situated just outside of Richmond in the Coal River Valley, bordered by mountains, lakes, rivers and the Southern Ocean, it is no surprise the vineyard is known for producing prestigious cool-climate wines. The ancient soil is comprised of black cracking clays over crumbling limestone, which lend a savoury richness to the white wines and give great structure to the reds.
All grapes are grown on-site before being passed onto the talented winemaker, Alain Rousseau, at nearby Frogmore Creek Winery. Chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, pinot noir and merlot grapes make up most of the produce, however, there are plans to expand the vineyard to include cabernet franc and chenin blanc grapes in the near future.
Furthermore, Nocton is proudly one of very few vineyards on the island to produce a 100 percent merlot variety. In 2015, Anthony and his team produced the Willow Series Reserve Merlot – a mid-garnet wine with a rose-coloured rim, which develops into a brick colour over a few years.
A visit to Nocton Vineyards will take you to its humble Cellar Door, a converted cottage that is open for tastings year round. Thanks to Nocton’s ongoing success, plans are in the works for a new cellar door with Chinese gardens and street food on offer, paying homage to the family’s continued commitment to the vineyard’s success.
Nearly 20 years after planting the first vines of Nocton Vineyard, this boutique winery continues to champion the high quality of Tasmanian wines to both locals and those abroad. With grand plans afoot, there’s no doubt this connection will only strengthen as the years go on.