A relatively new face on the Beechworth scene, husband and wife team Tessa and Jeremy were fortunate to purchase their farm, Thorley in 2012. Well, we say farm, when it was in fact more of a 18ha parcel of untouched prime land complete with two hills, a lake, and abandoned gold mine 11km south of Beechworth, at the highest elevation. A site that benefits from free-draining soils, plentiful hours of sunshine, and 1100mm of rainfall annually!
Whilst husband Jeremy switched his job as associate director at a major architecture firm to wellies, vineyard mapping and modifying the old apple shed into a makeshift cellar, Tessa came with a wealth of experience having worked at the likes of Kooyong and Sorrenberg. In 2014, they planted two ha of vines at medium density, with two more planned in the coming years. They are both devoted to mindful and regenerative agriculture, and the farm will be far more than just a vineyard, but a “holistic farming exercise.” They will be dedicating all the remaining land to a mix of crops, trees, wild flower meadows and animals to make nutrient cycling effective and functional. All vineyards are farmed organically, with minimal chemical input, with the same light touch and minimal intervention in the cellar. When the winery is finally finished, it will certainly be off the grid.
It’s early days for this thrilling new Beechworth project, and whilst they are waiting for their Thorley vines to mature, Tessa is also producing wine from select sites in the King Valley and from the neighbour’s vineyard, “Brunnen.” Watch this space for the first releases from their own labour and Thorley vines!