2011 Cellar Release

In 1958, against the advice of pretty much everyone he talked to about it, Italian émigré Claudio Alcorso planted the first vines on what would become the Moorilla vineyard. These early plantings (Riesling, donated by David Wynn in South Australia) were a leap into the unknown that’s been vindicated many times over, marking Claudio (and Moorilla) as a true pioneer in cool-climate Australian wine.

After his first foot-stomped vintage in 1962, Claudio slowly built the winery into a commercial operation, while the Tasmanian industry slowly grew up around it. The next couple of decades saw vineyards appear in every corner of the state, including just over the hill in the Coal River Valley, where Priscilla and George Park planted Stoney Vineyard in 1973—the first of many in the valley.

In time, both these vineyards would find themselves under new stewards: Stoney was bought by Swiss couple Peter and Ruth Althaus—trailblazers who saw the immense potential for big Tasmanian takes on the classic red blends of Bordeaux—in 1989, while Moorilla was purchased by Tasmanian gambler (and Pinot noir enthusiast) David Walsh in 1995.

Though they came at it from different places, both wineries would end up working in very similar directions: making long-lived wines (alongside some earlier drinkers) of the highest quality; marrying place, terroir and winemaking craft in equal measure. Domaine A remained under Ruth and Peter, while Moorilla eventually brought on Canadian Conor van der Reest in 2007, with the brief of making Moorilla the very best it could be.

Moorilla’s vibe at the time was very drink-now, and Conor immediately set about changing the scene: adjusting the viticultural and winemaking approach toward maturability, and putting his money where his mouth was by instituting an ambitious cellaring program in 2010, where an allocation of every wine produced was set aside for release a decade or so down the track.

Now, thirteen years on, the first batch of cellar releases is ready for release. These very special wines are available to Wine Cult members or by enquiry only.

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