Domaine A, Australia

Nestled at Stoney Vineyard (the oldest in Tasmania's famous Coal River Valley), Domaine A boasts the perfect mix of terroir, philosophy and patience to produce some of the finest wines in Australia.

North-facing, temperate and close enough to the coast to catch a sea breeze, Domaine A vines receive some of the longest daylight hours in Australia, allowing for longer vintages of incredible subtlety and intensity. These ideal growing conditions caught the eye of Swiss couple Peter and Ruth Althaus as they scoured the southern hemisphere for somewhere to build their dream-a cool-climate riposte to the great estates of France and Germany. After establishing Domaine A, they took their time to produce some of the best big Bordeaux blends Australia has seen, often waiting over a decade before even considering a release. This willingness to wait, and an attitude of quality above all else (even the bank account) kept them quietly at the forefront of Australian winemaking until their retirement in 2018, when they handed over to the new custodians: Moorilla winemaker Connor van der Reest and Mona (Museum of Old and New Art) owner David Walsh.

Viticulture

The Coal River Valley enjoys a temperate maritime climate, with annual rainfall often less than 500mm. Long, dry and mild growing seasons allow fruit from the property’s 11ha of closely planted vines to ripen well into late April and early May. Ancient soil and truly cool climate give rise to inspirational terroir founded on 200 million year old Jurassic Dolerite. Domaine A lies on a north facing slope that enjoys a temperate maritime climate and extended sunlight hours over a long, cool season. Domaine A experiences some of the longest sunshine hours in Australia, ensuring grapes ripen to develop the full spectrum of varietal character.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Domaine A boasts the perfect mix of terroir, philosophy and patience to produce some of the finest wines in Australia.
Five Star Winery.
James Halliday – Wine Companion
Outstanding Domaine A is set in one of the most pristine natural environments in the world. Established in 1973, the historic Stoney Vineyard is the oldest vineyard in Tasmania’s Coal River Valley. Ancient soil and truly cool climate give rise toinspirational terroir founded on 200 million year old Jurassic Dolerite. The Domaine lies on a north facing slope that enjoys a temperate maritime climate and extended sunlight hours over a long, cool season. Each Domaine A wine is a reflection of extraordinary terroir with a proven record of critical acclaim and genuine ageing capacity.
Langton's Fine Wine Classification
Peter Althaus - Althaus is a Swiss who decided, after 27 years at IBM, that he was ‘going to make wine to match the great wines of the world’. He also believed that ‘Cabernet is King’. Then he chose Tasmania to do it. All of which is ample testimony to his originality of thought. ‘I wanted cool climate by latitude, not altitude or sea breeze. I think sunshine ripens wine, not heat’. He looked in the Americas and New Zealand before tasting the wines of what was then Stoney Vineyard – and finding the finesse he was looking for. His Coal River site is warm and protected; Cabernet and Merlot are planted on the lower clays, and Pinot on upper-slope dolerite. Sulphur and selected yeasts are the only additions made to the wines. Just how true they are to their origins in both season and place is underlined by their extreme variability – but the best Cabernets and Pinots from the warmest seasons here are poised, fresh and classic.
Australia's 10 Bravest Winemakers, Andrew Jefford, Decanter - May 2010
My suggestion is that as many wine lovers as possible should try wines from [Domaine A], an example of those who make wines hugely superior to the current Australian stereotype.
Jancis Robinson MW OBE, April 2009
I have never been so gob-smacked with a range of wines in my life…
Matthew Jukes, Top 100 Australian Wines
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