Welcome to Uplands Vineyard, our small, family-run vineyard in Tasmania’s picturesque Coal River Valley. We are privileged to be custodians of this historic property.
Uplands was built in 1823 (making it older than the city of Melbourne) by John Petchey, who landed in 1812 as a convict who had been sentenced for 7 years for receiving stolen goods. After his release in 1816 he was appointed to the position of Keeper of Hobart Town Gaol. He supplemented his income by building boats and establishing an export trade in wattle gum from the Huon region of South East Tasmania.
During the first 30 years of European settlement in Tasmania, the Coal River Valley was known as ‘the Granary of Australia.’ By the 1940s, Uplands helped make it the home of the largest orchard plantings in the Southern Hemisphere, growing apricots, quinces, pears, oats, barley and wheat, as well as running sheep.
Only four families have held ownership over it in the past 195 years.
We purchased the four hectare property in 1997, and today we carefully manage half a hectare of Chardonnay vines.
Viticulture first came to the Coal River Valley in 1973. We planted our Penfolds-clone Chardonnay in 1998, and along with our valley peers our harvests contribute barely 20% to the State’s total annual wine grape crush.
We are small but special. At the 2019 Tasmanian Wine Show, the Coal River Valley’s small-scale producers won more than 25% of the event’s gold medals.
The Coal River Valley benefits enormously from Tasmania’s maritime climate. Abundant sunlight hours and warm daytime temperatures are moderated by cooling westerly winds from the Southern Ocean.
Uplands Vineyard also receives gentle sea breezes that ventilate our vines, mitigate disease pressures, and ensure our elevated slopes remain frost-free.
Most rainfall here occurs in winter and spring. During the critical ripening seasons of late summer and early autumn, this valley is very dry – and very sunny. These long, dry sunny periods allow our grapes to slowly develop optimum flavour ripeness, whilst retaining high levels of natural acidity.
More than a quarter of the ‘5 red star’ Tasmanian wineries listed in the 2019 Halliday Wine Companion are located in the Coal River Valley. Perhaps that explains why our wine grapes are highly sought after by Tasmanian wine companies, and by those located elsewhere in Australia.