Audrey Wilkinson purchases Poole’s Rock
The purchase of Hunter Valley winery Poole’s Rock by a neighbour, Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard, is good news. Both properties now have solid, independent family ownership in Brian Agnew and family.
The Poole’s Rock sale was prompted by the death from cancer of founder and owner David Clarke AO, the founding chairman of Macquarie Bank and for many years an important figure in the wine as well as banking industries. Clarke also chaired the wine committee of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW, which runs the Sydney Royal Wine Show. Sydney-based Agnew is a relatively recent entrant into wine, buying Audrey Wilkinson in 2004. There are synergies, as Audrey Wilkinson doesn’t have a proper winery and its wines have mostly been made off-site for many years. Poole’s Rock will provide a handy winemaking location close by, and Wilkinson winemaker Jeff Byrne is expected to work alongside Poole’s Rock’s award-winning winemaker Usher Tinkler.
James Agnew, general manager of Audrey Wilkinson, takes over as GM of Poole’s Rock and Cockfighter’s Ghost brands. Clarke established Poole’s Rock in 1988. Hi widow, Jane Clarke, said “Poole’s Rock was David’s passion and he was concerned that the brand, the wines and most importantly the team join a like-minded family company. Poole’s Rock and Audrey Wilkinson have similar values, a shared ethos and commitment to quality wine and brand integrity.”
They also both produce a range of fine wines.