Domaine A / Stoney Vineyard is a 20ha property in the Coal River Valley of Southern Tasmania, owned and operated by Peter and Ruth Althaus.
Just half an hour’s drive from the city of Hobart, it was originally planted with 0.5ha of noble grape varieties in 1973 by its former owners, Priscilla and George Park.
In 1989, inspired by the quality and potential of the site's early wines the Althaus’ purchased Stoney Vineyard – the culmination of a long and exhaustive world-wide search for a site ideally suited to cool-climate viticulture.
The 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, bringing to the wines aromas and flavours of great subtlety and intensity.
The vineyard’s sloping, north-northeasterly aspect, and it’s foliage height of 1400mm, enables vine leaves to take full advantage of the prolonged hours of bright summer sunshine which are common to such high southern latitudes as the Coal River Valley.
The varieties grown include the red grapes of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Pinot Noir and the white grape Sauvignon Blanc.
Peter Althaus personally selects the fruit for harvesting. During the cool days of Autumn when the fruit is at the point of optimum ripeness and flavour it is hand-picked and delivered to the winery for immediate processing. The wines are made without compromise in the spirit of the finest traditions of European winemaking.
CELLAR DOOR OPEN TIMES: MONDAY-FRIDAY 10AM-4PM, CLOSED PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
Once again an enormous amount of work went in over the winter period to prepare for the harvest season and to set up ideal conditions for the 2011 vintage.
Winter brought regular but not excessive rainfall (almost on a weekly basis) and many crisp, frosty mornings. We saw the first signs of bud-burst in mid September and despite several close calls, avoided any frost damage and achieved flowering by mid December.
Summer conditions were relatively mild, however the continuing rainfall promoted high levels of shoot growth that required topping, lateral removal and leaf plucking from January through February.
We picked our Pinot Noir on the 28th March (two weeks later than 2010) and then despite a week of record rainfall in mid April, were able to make the most of a wonderful 'Indian summer' finishing picking the Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot on the 3rd May (two weeks later than 2010).
The first results show a very clean, evenly ripened crop, and notwithstanding the mild summer conditions, a vintage of extremely interesting complexity in both taste and aroma.