Meet Andrew Thomas of Thomas Wines
We catch up with Andrew Thomas – Hunter Valley winemaker, regional champion and diehard Swans supporter, whose Gold medal-winning Synergy Shiraz 2014 is our July Wine of the Month.
The Hunter Valley is especially renowned for producing exceptional Shiraz and Semillon – what makes it so special?
A very unique combination of old vines, ancient soils and our relatively warm climate. Generally speaking, the Semillons are best suited to our sandy/loam alluvial flats and the Shiraz to the heavier clay/loams on the slopes and hills.
Your focus at Thomas Wines is very much on Shiraz and Semillon – why?
When I started Thomas Wines, I made a very clear decision to specialise in the signature varieties of the region. It’s kind of a European approach, but it’s more about brand integrity – making a range of world-class wines rather than just producing everything for everyone.
Your Cellar Door recently won Cellar Door of the Year at the 2017 Hunter Valley Legends Awards – how was that?
It was a great honour, particularly since we opened the doors of our own dedicated cellar door destination literally only 18 months ago. The wines are obviously a no-brainer, but the award really goes to my amazing staff who deliver our message in a fun, yet educational way, every day of the week.
Can you recall the first wine you tried?
It’s hard to remember the very first wine I tried, but I do recall tasting an amazing textural Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre when I was about 17 years old. This wine inspired me to get into winemaking and the rest is history. Interesting memory, because these days I would rarely drink any Sauvignon Blanc!
What is your all-time favourite wine memory (other than a wine itself)?
It’d be a tie between the first time I saw one of my wines being ordered across the room in a restaurant, and the first time I was awarded Hunter Valley Winemaker of the Year.
Other than your own wine, what is the wine that you like to drink at home?
We drink wine from all over the world, so it’s hard to be specific but at the moment we seem to be drinking a lot of Chablis, particularly from the 2014 vintage.
What’s your ultimate food + wine match?
Young Hunter Valley Semillon and sashimi.
What is your favourite…
Way to spend a weekend off?
Head to the big smoke and watch the mighty Sydney Swans in action.
Europe. Next trip is long overdue…
Time of the year/season?
Vintage. It’s basically 24/7 for six to eight weeks, but the adrenalin kicks in to keep you going for the most important time of the winemaking year.
Lunch – Bistro Molines
Dinner – Muse Restaurant
Could only be the mighty Sydney Swans!