A newcomer to the Tasmanian wine scene, Small Island Wines has entered with a bang. After a successful crowdfunding campaign led to its creation in 2015, the tiny winery is already thinking of the future after roping in praise and awards for its big-flavoured drops.
For 10 years, James Broinowski travelled the world making wine and soaking up wine knowledge. A Tasmanian at heart, the viticulture and oenology graduate’s dream was always to return to his home soil and craft his own vintage. After the crowdfunding campaign, his dream was realised. Small Island Wines raised enough money to buy two tonnes of pinot grapes to begin its first vintage, with enough left over to start on the second. As James got to work, his 90 supporters were rewarded with updates on the sweat, smiles and tears that went into Small Island Wines’ first winemaking adventure. They were also the first to get their hands on the finished product, which, as it turns out, was a winner.
Winning gold at the Royal International Hobart Wine Show in 2016, that first drop of 2015 pinot noir has also won the praise of some of Australia’s most renowned wine commentators. James Halliday awarded Small Island Wines five stars, giving its pinot noir an enviable 96-point rating. At the 2016 Taste of Tasmania Festival, James’ 200 bottles of ros. sold out in four days.
With a focus on “pinot noir with power”, Small Island Wines is a drop to savour. James’ devotion to top-quality winemaking shines through in the quality of his pinots, which feature a good dose of structure and persistence, as well as those glorious fruit flavours.
Grapes are sourced from small, single site vineyards throughout Tasmania, with each wine making the most of the unique flavours produced by each site. The first vintage featured grapes from Glengarry in Tasmania’s north, with successive batches focusing on-sites on the east coast and southern Tasmania.
Thanks to Tasmania’s impressive diversity of terroir – the state has more soil types than any other in the country – the wines produced by Small Island Wines provide a snapshot into each vineyard and season. One taste is all it takes to transport yourself across Tasmania. That is, if you’re lucky enough to track down a bottle.
With a focus on sustainable growth, each Small Islands wine is produced with immense care and in limited numbers. Each vintage is launched in December with a party to boot, featuring local artists, music, food and wine. Needless to say, bottles at these launches sell out quickly. If you’re not around for the party, chat through a tasting at James’ intimate Hobart cellar door and wine bar, Drink Co., or at a few select local restaurants.
Bursting onto the scene with not just passion, but highly prized wines, Small Island Wines is one to watch on the Tasmanian wine trail.