It's often hard to decide where to start when planning a visit to Wine Country, there's so many places to see, wines to sip, restaurants to dine in and gorgeous scenery to absorb.
So how do you make the most of your visit in our new (COVID safe) world?
Whilst restaurants and Cellar Doors are now back to full capacity, Easter is a busy time in the Valley. Most Cellar Doors have new offerings and experiences, and bookings are the best way to tick off the bucket list.
So what's the best approach?
If you love the Hunter Valley's signature varieties, or would like to learn more about them, add Thomas Wines to the list. We've curated two seated experiences, one to give you an overview and one that takes a deep dive into individual vineyard wines. Book in advance and we;ll have your table ready and waiting for you on your arrival and we'll include a couple of back vinatge wines in your tasting.
So what are you waiting for? Do all the hard (but fun) work now. Plan and book your visit before your holiday, then all you have to do when you get here is relax and enjoy.
2020 a challenging year for everyone, to say the least. Now that things are on the improve we reckon it's time to cut loose, and what better excuse is there than to celebrate the release of another outstanding vintage of Hunter Valley Shiraz.
In true "Thommo style" Andrew Thomas will be showcasing a 'sneak preview' of the full range of his outstanding 2019 Shiraz. He's hitting the road in April for a Thomas Wines Club Member's tour, hosting dinners in Melbourne, Brisbane, and Sydney, and then the official release day lunch in Pokolbin on Saturday 1st May.
Whilst the Pokolbin Lunch and Mode Kitchen + Bar Dinner on 13 April is fully booked, we'd love you to join us in Brisbane, Melbourne or at the newly released Mode Kitchen + Bar Dinner on Monday 12th April.
With some restrictions still in place numbers are limited.
The Dinners and Lunch will include four courses, perfectly paired with the full suite of 2019 Shiraz (with a couple of extra wines thrown in for good measure.....)
It's time to cut-loose & hit the road to release our range of 2019 Shiraz.
Whilst we are finalising the details we thought you might like to SAVE the date so that once we have the events live, you will have gathered your friends and will be ready to book to join us.
The Dinners will include a four courses, paired with the to be released 2019 range of Shiraz and will be hosted by Thommo.
Here's the line-up
Tickets and full details will be available via the website in the near future.
After the past crazy 12 months we can't wait to cut-loose and catch up with everyone.
Vintage 2021 is in full swing with the last of the Braemore vineyard harvested today.
It's a great time to visit the Valley, so much action and excitement with bright colours of pickers in the vineyards, huge mechanical harvesters & tractors on the roads & the wineries buzzing with action as they bring the grapes in.
Whilst the winery is not on site at Cellar Door (it's about 1km down Hermitage Road) we love to share the vintage experience with daily tastings of freshly crushed juice and ferments. It gives our guests a taste of what's to come with an explanation of what is happening each day.
This photo is pure semillon juice from the Braemore Vineyard.
When we first crush and press it, it is iridescent green and full of pulp (per glass one); we then pump it to tank to let all the pulp/solids settle. The 2nd glass is the juice after day two, such purity, and still just juice, there is no alcohol here. Glass three is a wine that has been inoculated and has started fermentation, the cloudiness is the yeast hard at work converting the sugras to alcohol, the by product of which is CO2.
We currently have juice and/or ferments available to taste as part of our Cellar Door experiences. BOOK YOUR TASTING HERE.
After a nervous start Vintage 2021 is officially underway for Thomas Wines.
As a general rule our harvest starts on the Australia Day weekend and this year was true to form. “The OC” Semillon was harvested on Monday 25th January, with “Fordwich Hill” close behind; “Braemore” harvest began on Wednesday 27 January.
“After several years of drought the wetter start to the 2021 vintage had us nervous” said Thommo, “but we dodged a bullet with the last couple of weeks of warm to hot days ripening the fruit and producing good flavours”.
The pickers will be hard at work in the Braemore vineyard finishing mid next week, with a week’s break before the Shiraz harvest begins.
A trip to Wine Country takes a little more planning these days. The benefit is, you do all the work before you leave home so you can relax when you get here.
Here's a few tips for your post-Christmas getaway to the Hunter Valley
Frequently asked questions for a Thomas Wines Visit
We can't wait to see you 😊
For those wise, and quick enough, to grab some of the limited supplies of 2020 Braemore Semillon ...
Max Allen today listed the 2020 Braemore Semillon in The Australian Newpaper in his top 20 wines of 2020. Due to the limited supplies made, the 2020 Braemore Semillon has since sold out.
The full Top 20 list can be found here.
This is the time of year to catch up with friends and family, and to head away on well-deserved holidays.
It's time to purchase Christmas gifts, to reward and thank team workers and customers, and to top the Cellar with wines for the beach, the pool, the BBQ and the Christmas table.
To make entertaining, holidaying and gift buying that little bit easier we've created a few gift packs, dozens and six packs. There are packs for the enthusiast or a fun long lunch; packs for sipping whilst on holidays; collectable gift boxed magnums and double magnums.
Thommo's raided the cellar and put together Thommo's Holiday dozen, a mix of his current drinking favourites. It includes a selection of current releases, vibrant and fresh in their youth, with a couple from the cellar with a few year's bottle age and secondary aged characteristics coming through.
If you'd prefer to customise a pack please contact us and we'll assist you to create the perfect mix, we'll even add a Thank you or Christmas card with a personal message.
Find the full gift selection here
The Hunter Valley is world renowned for producing uniquely regional wine styles, particularly from the signature varieties of the region; Semillon and Shiraz. The very best examples of these wines have remarkable longevity, offering some serious long term cellaring potential. To that end, we hold back some very limited ‘museum’ stock of the best vintages, primarily destined for future promotional and marketing purposes, and occasionally offered for
sale exclusively to our Cellar Door customers.
Whilst you may occasionally see some back vintage Thomas Wines appear on the secondary/auction market, the problem is not knowing exactly where the wine has been, and how well it’s been cellared. All the wines offered on our 'Provenance List' have been bottle-aged in our climate controlled cellars and then transferred to our purpose installed wine cabinets, so you can be assured of their quality and provenance.
The list is regulalry updated and at the time of publishing includes iconic wines and vintages such as
For those wanting to explore current releases against aged vinatges, we have curated a Single Vineyard Shiraz Provenance Six Pack. This pack is available from our website here.
Each vintage we produce limited edition of exactly 100 Magnums and exactly 12 Jeroboams of our flagship single vineyard wines Braemore Semillon and Kiss Shiraz. Each of these large format bottles are individually numbered, providing some rare and exclusive gems for the serious wine collector and are also available from the Provenance List with limited vinatges available from the website here.
The full Provenance List is available in Cellar Door or contact Rowena (02) 4998 7134 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
First things first, I want to address the elephant in the room – smoke taint.
Whilst the unprecedented bushfires across NSW earlier this year did not directly impact any vineyards in the Hunter, it is true that many vineyards were impacted by the smoke that drifted into the Valley from the west.
Most winemakers in the Hunter (myself included) went to extraordinary lengths with pre-harvest micro-fermentations and submitting grape samples to the Australian Wine Research Institute for smoke taint panel analysis. Clearly, we needed to do our due diligence to make informed decisions on which vineyards were clear and which proposed too much of a risk to even consider harvesting.
From all the data that we as a region collected, it became evident that the physical location of each vineyard within the region dictated the level of potential issues associated with smoke. In particular, many of the vineyards out at Broke that were surrounded by fire were most highly impacted, and those vineyards tucked in closer the Brokenback range within central and southern Pokolbin were also impacted, albeit to a lesser degree. It seems the smoke tended to ‘hug’ the range at its thickest, and those vineyards further away were impacted by a much lesser or to no extent at all.
The downside of this (the bad news) is that I did have to make the difficult decision to walk away from some of our favourite vineyards this year, both Semillon and Shiraz. As a result, my production this year is down by about 60% of what we would normally expect to bring in. Of course, the ongoing drought conditions had an influence on this also. The flip side (good news) is that the small volume of fruit I did pick this year was excellent, as are the resultant wines I have made from them.