The team at Moores Hill in the Tamar Valley is celebrating building Tasmania's first off-grid winery. From vintage 2017, Moores Hill is making wine powered by the sun!
"Our solar powered winery will enable us to make wine on site for the first time, a very exciting prospect," says co-owner Fiona Weller. "Construction is almost complete and equipment is arriving daily to start production."
The construction of the winery marks the 20th anniversary of the vineyard being planted and is a joint project with new business partners Tim and Sheena High of Native Point Wines.
"When we bought Moores Hill in 2008, there was a vineyard and cellar door but nowhere to crush grapes and make wine," says Weller. "The previous owners had the wine made under contract at an off-site winery, a common practice throughout the industry and very common in Tasmania.
But after years of sharing winery space and having wine made under contract, it was time for winemaker Julian Allport to build his own winery.
A plan to have a simple shed installed fell through when the shed company went out of business.
"While a kit shed would provide a more than adequate winery, we decided that a custom-designed building would not only deliver a superior aesthetic result but provide an opportunity to showcase our wines in a more engaging way, beyond a cellar door experience," says Weller.
"The winery is the first built structure visitors see when they approach at Moores Hill so it needed to create a positive initial impression and make a statement about our wine business.
"We were excited to find that a solar powered option was only 10% more expensive to install. The long-term cost-efficiency of solar power and satisfaction of using a renewable energy source to power our business made solar the more attractive option."
As vintage approaches, the news is all good.
"The odd mix of wet weather, cool and warm temperatures has made for an interesting growing season," said Weller. "We are now enjoying a good stretch of warm weather that will see us through to a good quality harvest."
Moores Hill Estate, 3343 West Tamar Hwy, Sidmouth, TAS 7270. (03) 6394 7649.