Want to visit some Tasmanian wineries? A good idea, with only one problem: where to start! We decided to combine a family visit to Richmond in the Coal River Valley, with a little adult time at a cellar door. We bought ice-creams to keep the kids happy, and then ventured to Pooley Wines on the outskirts of town.
Tasmanian Wineries: Friendly Family Welcome
One of the many Tasmanian wineries or vineyards on the Coal River Valley wine route, Pooley Wines has a magnificent Georgian property on a rise overlooking the vines. On our first attempt, we rudely interrupted the staff’s late lunch. With a promise to return in half an hour, we left to visit more of the sights of Richmond.
They seemed a bit surprised to see us when we did actually return! But the staff (who turned out to be owner John Pooley, his daughter Anna and her fiance Justin) gave us the warmest welcome and were an absolute delight to meet.
Pooley Wines: Young Winemaker of the Year
As a proud Dad, John was quick to introduce daughter Anna Pooley as the Young Winemaker of the Year. Although now based in Adelaide and working for the Fosters Group, Anna still has a close connection with Tasmania. Obviously the family vineyard is a strong bond, but she also has a passion for using grapes sourced from Tasmanian wineries in her award-winning wines.
During the tasting session, we chatted about Justin’s own work as a winemaker in Italy, while John joked about setting his soon-to-be-son-in-law to work; to help pay for the wedding. Due to be married the weekend following our visit, there was talk about using the family Porsche as a wedding car, and having the reception at the vineyard.
Richmond: Wine Tasting Experience
When the kids finished their treats, they were occupied by a gorgeous cat named Porsche. I’ve seen plenty of cellar door dogs, but never a cellar door cat! And certainly not a cat as friendly as this one. Her namesake was parked outside, to add further excitement to the visit.
A tasting at the cellar door of Pooley Wines costs $5-00 (which is refunded if you make any purchases). Which of course we did. While being very impressed with pretty much everything we tried, we chose bottles of 2007 Pinot Noir and 2010 Late Harvest Riesling to take home.
I would have loved to stay chatting longer, but the old sandstone stables at the Belmont Lodge cellar door were becoming jam-packed with tasters, and we needed to make room for other wine tourists. One couple even had a motor-home, so they had lots of room for souvenir bottles of Tasmanian wine!
Tasmanian Wineries: Next on the Agenda
Another nearby cellar door (Puddleduck Vineyard) has been recommended to us. And we have a friend who works at Frogmore Creek Winery which is also near Richmond. So we’ll definitely visit other Tasmanian wineries, vineyards and cellar doors and we’ll be returning to Pooley Wines on our next trip to Richmond and the Coal River Valley wine route.