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The Tolpuddle vineyard was purchased by Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith in 2011 following an eventful road trip earlier that year. It is situated in the Coal River Valley, in Tasmania’s south-east corner. First planted in 1988 by Tony Jordan and Garry Crittenden, it has since established a reputation for growing exceptional quality grapes, with the focus on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The cool but relatively dry climate allows the grapes to ripen slowly in autumn, without the disease pressure that heavy rainfall can bring.
The vineyard took its name from the Tolpuddle Martyrs, who were transported to Australia in 1834 for starting an agrarian union in Tolpuddle in Dorset. The leader of the group, George Loveless, served part of his sentence working on a property near Richmond called GlenAyr, part of which is now the Tolpuddle Vineyard. In 2006, it won the inaugural Tasmanian Vineyard of the Year award, reflecting the performance of this distinguished site. The goal of the current owners is to make this one of the finest single vineyards in Australia for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. A goal already achieved by the Chardonnay, with the 2018 being named the IWC’s Champion White Wine in 2020, the 2019 featuring in James Suckling’s Top 100 Wines of 2020 and the 2020 taking home the IWC Australian White Trophy in 2022.
This wine has gorgeous aromatics with violets and red berries coming to the fore. There is abundant fruit with notes of sour cherry, raspberry, blueberry, and a touch of rhubarb. Underlying savoury characters include graphite and cured meat, and some toasted spices. Medium weight, with very fine tannins. Fresh and enticing, perfumed and delicious.