lutruwita - Campania, Coal River Valley, Tasmania
Ask anyone in the Australian wine industry about Bordeaux varieties in Tasmania, and they’ll tell you they largely haven’t found success. Though the next words to leave their lips would
surely be something about the exception of Domaine A, and their monumental achievements with the cabernet sauvignon and sauvignon blanc grapes.
The Stoney Vineyard was planted in 1973 by George and Priscilla Park: the first commercial vineyard in the Coal River Valley (which has become one of Tasmania’s most significant subregions). The vineyard is planted on a north-facing slope in a truly cold, maritime climate, though with ample sunlight, on
200-million-year-old Jurassic dolerite.
In 1989 the vineyard was purchased by Ruth and Peter Althaus, a Swiss-born couple who had conducted an extensive worldwide search for a site to call home. Though many warned them against cabernet in Tasmania, the couple were undeterred. They believed that the site could produce worldclass
cabernet sauvignon and sauvignon blanc, and their winemaking approach backed up this belief: expensive, partially new French oak was used for aging, and the wines were only released when Peter deemed them ready to drink, often times after three, five, seven, or more years of age.
The Althaus’s bet paid off, and Domaine A has been recognized for decades as one of the Australia’s finest wineries. The flagship cabernet sauvignon has been a staple on the Langton’s Classification for years, and the sauvignon blanc is considered by many to be Australia’s finest varietal expression of the grape. Many in the trade refer to the winery as “Tasmania’s First Growth”.
Looking to retire, the Althauses sold Domaine A to David Walsh (owner of Tasmania’s Moorilla) in 2018. Peter Althaus worked with Moorilla winemaker Conor van der Reest to ensure a smooth handover before him and Ruth moved back to Switzerland in 2019. The goal of Moorilla and van der Reest is to see the superlative legacy of Domaine A maintained, invigorated, and even strengthened.
What Jane and Jon have to say…
The wines of Domaine A are the stuff of legends: a grape planted at an unexpected site; wines aged for sometimes over a decade before release; and truly extraordinary wine in the bottle, if you’re lucky enough to get a taste. Domaine A’s quickly became some of our favorite wines when we moved to Australia: cerebral, intensely structured, fragrant, and just plain delicious. We’re excited to see how the wines evolve under the custodianship of Moorilla, who was hand-selected by the Althauses to continue their legacy.
CLICK THE VINTAGES BELOW FOR TECH SHEETS AND TASTING NOTES