Moores Hill: wine under the Tasmanian sun

Moores Hill

This award winning vineyard is leading the sustainability charge for Australia’s wine industry by closing the loop and opening the door to low impact practices.

Just 40 minutes from Launceston in Northern Tasmania sits one of Australia’s only commercial scale off-grid wineries. Moores Hill spills over seven picturesque hectares of the Tamar Valley, growing some of the best cool-climate wines in the region.

Every drop of wine is grown, processed and bottled on site.

Fiona Weller bought Moores Hill with her husband Julian Allport in 2008. Over the past 11 years, the family have been growing award-winning vintages on their rolling slopes, helped by a sunny north-east aspect, well-drained soil and cool sea air.

With new business partners, Tim and Sheena High coming on board in 2016, they embarked on construction of an on-site winery. In March, 2017 they completed construction of a beautiful for-purpose wine shed. Made from corrugated iron and timber slats that echo the stalks of the vineyards below, it now sits nestled into the bushland. Every drop of wine is grown, processed and bottled on site.

The development is the latest step towards making Moores Hill as sustainable and beautiful as possible, Fiona explains.

Low impact practices shine through

Just as the beautifully-designed shed allowed them to close the loop on the wine-making process, its construction also gave the Moores Hill team the chance to incorporate circularity into other aspects of the vineyard.

“We’re have a 100-tonne capacity winery,” Fiona says. “All our wine is made on site by my husband Julian, all our power is captured by solar panels, all our water comes from the sky, and waste is managed on site.

This is leading-edge in low impact winemaking.

“We think we’re the only commercial scale, off-grid winery in Australia,” she concludes. This is leading-edge in low impact winemaking.

The development was made possible first and foremost by the installation of a 108-panel rooftop solar array. Capable of generating 28kw of power, energy from the array is stored in a bank of gel batteries generating 81kw and is enough to power the whole site, including an electric vehicle charging point.

All water for irrigation is captured on site, either from the buildings’ rooftops, or from the dam and bore. All wine by-products are also managed on site.

“It’s quite amazing what comes out of grapes,” Fiona says. “From grape skins to rachis (wine stalks) and marc (solid waste left after crushing the juice from grapes), as well as all the yeasty liquids that come from wine.

“It’s all kept on the block and used to build up the soil structure as it composts away.”

Growing into the future

Fiona says a future goal for the vineyard is to become organic.

“We already use the bare minimum of chemical intervention at Moores Hill,” she explains, “and every year we use less and less of the nasties.”

The main challenge for getting rid of chemicals altogether is the climate, she says, especially in late summer when increased humidity and moisture can lead to disease.

“But it is possible,” she says. “It’s a goal we’re working towards.”

For more on special cellar door experiences – including an indulgent wine and chocolate pairing – and other details, head to Moores Hill’s website.


Moores Hill

Products | Tasmania