By Deborah Jackson, editor National Liquor News

Boutique winery Clover Hill’s Tea Tree Vineyard in the Coal River Valley north of Hobart, has won the 2016 Tasmanian Vineyard of the Year award.

The recognition comes at an exciting time for Clover Hill, as it plans to open a new cellar door at the Lebrina site later in the year. The new cellar door has been designed by Tasmanian architecture and engineering firm 6ty° and construction is set to begin in June.

The win is an impressive result for Clover Hill and its viticulturist Alex van Driel, who manages both the Tea Tree Vineyard and the winery’s main vineyard at Lebrina in the state’s north east, producing high quality grapes for the Clover Hill label.

The judging panel were particularly impressed with Clover Hill’s ability to overcome a string of recent environmental challenges including unusually dry weather this year.

“Clover Hill’s Alex van Driel has brought the vineyard through several challenges to one that is producing increasing yields of premium quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for sparkling wine.

“While the extremely dry season presented problems with restricted irrigation water, Alex has carefully managed an irrigation program to deliver fruit of the high standard required for Clover Hill,” said the judging panel.

The annual competition is run by the Royal Agricultural Society of Tasmania (RAST) to promote excellence in viticulture management, recognising that the process of creating great wines begins long before they hit the glass.

Adam Torpy, CEO of Goelet Wines which owns Clover Hill, said the award was a great honour for the business.

“Clover Hill pioneered sparkling wine in Tasmania 30 years ago so it’s fantastic to receive this official recognition from our industry peers,” he said.

“Our Tea Tree Vineyard was established less than six years ago to meet the growing demand for the production of our Clover Hill label, which until recently was produced from a single location in Pipers River. The award is a real credit to Alex and his team who have managed to achieve fantastic yields from these vines in a relatively short period of time."

A field day where the industry can learn more about Clover Hill’s viticultural management program will be held at the Tea Tree Vineyard on Thursday, 12 May.

“Clover Hill remains deeply committed to wine and wine tourism in Tasmania," Torpy said.

“We’ve spent the past three decades proudly producing some of the state’s best wines and look forward to doing so for many more years to come.”

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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