Ouse River Wines

Tasmania | Southern Tasmania

James' Review

Ouse River Wines is one of the most interesting developments in Tasmania. Bernard and Margaret Brain own a 1000ha property north of Ouse at the top end of the Derwent Valley, on the edge of the central highlands. They run nine enterprises on the property, including the vineyard the furthest inland in Tasmania, with a continental climate, and diurnal temperature range during ripening of 7°C more than the areas surrounding Hobart. In the early 1990s Bernard and Margaret attended wine-tasting classes run by Phil Laing, which prompted the planting of a trial area of six varieties to see whether they would ripen. In 2002 they approached Ray Guerin to see what he thought: the answer was a contract for 10 years with Hardys. The first planting of 1ha in late ’02 was followed by an extra hectare planted each year until ’06; further plantings over the years resulting in an end total of 6.55ha of pinot noir, 10.25ha of chardonnay and 1ha of riesling. The pinot was incorporated in Arras from the second vintage, and in every vintage it has been made since. After the Hardys contract ended, 95% of the fruit was sold, mainly for use in sparkling wine, but enough going to table wine to excite considerable interest. They asked the purchasers whether they would buy additional grapes, and the answer was 110 tonnes, which will drive substantial new plantings with ample suitable land.


From the depths of the heights of the Central Highlands, we are Tasmania’s most inland cold climate vineyard; bringing you quality full-bodied wines of great palate length and finish. Ouse River Wines (ORW) is a boutique vineyard established in 2002, located on the steep dolerite gravel hillsides of the Ouse Valley of the Central Highlands in Tasmania. The location of ORW has significance in Australian history, namely as the ground upon which the first escaped convict traversed; James Goodwin was marked as the first white ‘unofficial explorer’ that travelled west to east across Van Diemen’s Land. As he explored this unknown land dressed in a prison uniform laden with the pattern of the convict arrow, not dissimilar to that of the Celtic Arwen of the trinity, the correlation between the two symbols, married with the landscape in which he crossed, couldn’t be clearer. From this symbolism of the upward facing arrow mirroring the unique mountain ranges of the Ouse Valley, the emblem for ORW was created. As Tasmania’s most inland cold climate vineyard, the skyward facing geometrics of the arrows are in perfect harmony with the mountainous landscape our vineyard thrives in. From the depths of Tasmania’s heights, we bring you quality full-bodied wines of great palate length and finish, with sought-after fruit from our vineyard used in some of Australia’s best Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sparkling wines.


Winemaker Anna Pooley (Contract)
Established 2002
Dozens 300
Vineyards (area) 17.8 ha
Opening Hours Not
Address PO Box 40, Ouse, Tas 7140
Telephone (03) 6287 1309
Website www.ouseriverwines.com.au