In 2016, Karin Adcock purchased a neglected vineyard in the Hunter Valley sub-region of Broke Fordwich, New South Wales. Established in 1988, the property operated under the Pooles Rock moniker until its sale in 2011. Karin fell in love with it five years later and began turning it into a peaceful retreat for family and friends, but it wasn’t long before she set her sights on more, restoring the vineyard to its former viticultural glory and creating a premium, chardonnay-specific winery. Now, with the completion of a new cellar door in June, Winmark Wines is officially open for business.
In Danish – owner and vigneron Karin’s native tongue – Winmark Wines translates to ‘Field of Vines’, an apt descriptor for the picturesque 28 acre chardonnay vineyard nestled in the grounds of the Hunter Valley destination. “I am so proud to now call this property my home,” says Karin. “It gives me an immense sense of peace. I feel quite strongly that if you have something that is very beautiful, you should share it with friends and family and extend it outwards.”
The Winmark project began as just that, and the process of extending it outwards has involved more than four years of careful planning and restoration. Paul Bangay OAM designed the stunning Perennial and Rose Garden that is overlooked by the Private Residence. Set against the Blocks of Chardonnay is a beautiful open space featuring the monumental ‘Biosis’ sculpture from the acclaimed sculptor, David Ball. Karin is an avid collector of sculptures, exploring the property you will discover the Gates of Illusion, elemental Scissor Paper Rock, flower sculptures scattered along the property, and the newest installation Ceramic Lollipops.
Owner and vigneron, Karin Adock, inside the newly finished Winmark Wines cellar door.
Winmark offers four beautiful properties across its 130 acres, each fully renovated with a unique, artistic flair – transforming it into one of the area’s premier event destinations. Each guesthouse showcases its individual character with carefully curated furnishings and artworks sourced from around the globe, silhouetted against the breathtaking mountain and vineyard views.
The new Winmark Wines cellar door is situated in the refurbished Pooles Rock storage sheds, offering a subtle hark back to the winery’s roots. The structure features stunning views over the vineyards and is an ideal location to sample the Winmark premium chardonnays – visitors can sit-in for a guided tasting, or purchase a bottle of wine and cheese hamper to enjoy alfresco in winery grounds. Positioned at the heart of the property, the building links to other key landmarks such as the ‘Wintrack’ walking track for Cellar Door and accommodation guests and Karin’s ‘Koppie’, a formal stand of 40 deciduous trees overlooked by the ancient Yellow Rock escarpment.
The winery’s now-thriving chardonnay vines are thanks to a talented and dedicated team comprised of vigneron Karin, vineyard manager Dave Grosser, viticulturist Liz Riley and international winemaker John Belsham. The vineyards grow in a nutrient-rich soil over a gravel/shale base and flourish in the warm Hunter Valley climate – which experienced a standout 2019 vintage, resulting in the release of two key Winmark styles: the Rusty’s Run Chardonnay and the Single Vineyard Reserve Chardonnay.
The 2019 Rusty's Run Chardonnay and the 2019 Single Vineyard Reserve Chardonnay.
Rusty’s Run in the first release from the 2019 vintage, named after Winmark’s favourite Kelpie. “The wine expresses peach and citrus notes. The subtle oak handling emphasises elegance and a crisp dry finish,” says winemaker John. “It is drinking beautifully now and can be cellared for up to 5 years.”
The winery’s single vineyard style is meticulously crafted using select fruit harvested and gently pressed at night to maintain freshness. John describes the 2019 release as a wine that will mature beautifully over time, with “aromas of roasted nuts and butterscotch, with depth and layers of expressions of citrus, apple and honey melon with a creamy texture and velvet undertone from the extended lees contact.”
The Winmark Wines cellar door is open Friday to Sunday, from 10am - 5pm and by appointment. Find out more.
*This article was produced by Halliday Wine Companion in partnership with the featured wineries.