Alcorso Alchemy

Winemaking Tasmania is a contract winemaking company run by Julian Alcorso, whose name is almost synonymous with Tasmanian wine.

The firm is wholly dedicated to its approximately 48 clients and does not have a brand of its own. Most of its clients are small vineyard owners who aren’t big enough to justify building a winery of their own. (Another client is The Wine Society, whose riesling is perennially great value for money.) A close look at the results from the recent 2014 Tasmanian Wine Show reveals this winery’s influence on the high quality of Tasmanian wine. According to Alcorso, 44% of the medals in the entire show were awarded to wines made by Winemaking Tasmania, including 52% of all gold medals. 

Further, its dominance of riesling is revealed: all of the medals in the 2012 and 2011 dry riesling classes were made by Winemaking Tasmania, and in the 2013 class, 10 of the 21 medal wines (including two of the four golds).

Of the company’s riesling clients, Pressing Matters (tastings) stands out: it entered a lot of rieslings in all three categories – dry, medium-sweet and sweet. Pressing Matters is a riesling specialist: it only has riesling and pinot noir planted on its 7-hectare vineyard at Tea Tree in the Coal River Valley. It won 14 medals for riesling at this year’s show.

Kudos to vineyard manager Paul Smart as well as Winemaking Tasmania’s four resident winemakers. They are Alcorso, Greer Carland, Tom Ravech and Matt Wood – although Wood recently departed (and was replaced by Jarred Whinham). Last year Ravech, formerly at Tamar Ridge (tastings) and before that Villa Maria (tastings), replaced John Schuts, a long-serving member of the team, who left to take up winemaking duties elsewhere. 

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