Andrew Pirie (or Dr Andrew Pirie AM) has stood tall among those viticulturists and winemakers who have sought to understand and exploit Tasmania’s terroir and climate over the past 40 years. He is as far removed from soap-box oratory as it is possible to be, quietly spoken and humble. His vision almost 50 years ago – longer still on some measures – saw the establishment of Pipers Brook Vineyard in 1974, using the detailed studies of Tasmania’s regional climates in ’72. In ’77 he became the first (and last) person to complete study for his doctorate in viticulture from the University of Sydney. While making some of the best table wines to come from Tasmania in the last quarter of the 20th century, his focus shifted to sparkling wine in ’99. In 2007 he acquired a 2ha site near Lebrina in the Pipers River district, planting pinot noir (62%), chardonnay (16%) and a little pinot meunier (2%) for sparkling wine, as well as pinot gris (20%) for table wine. Apogee’s historic farm cottage is now an intimate cellar door where (by appointment) visitors can observe a hand disgorging demonstration. Pinot gris and pinot noir are also made under the Alto label. Exports to Germany and the US.