Western Australia-based Fogarty Wine Group has broken ground on new vineyards that will make it one of the biggest players in Tasmanian wine.
Fogarty owns brands including Lake’s Folly, Deep Woods and Evans & Tate and has started irrigating a 200ha vineyard project to increase its premium wine production.
The company recently has bought two properties at Forcett and Richmond (pictured below), plus the Lowestoft vineyard at Berriedale (pictured main).
Planting of the first vines is due to be completed by the end of the year and the grape varieties will included Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling.
Once the work is completed Fogarty will be Tasmania’s second biggest vineyard owner.
FWG chief viticulturist John Fogarty told The Weekly Times that access to reliable water and a cooler climate were key factors in the decision.
Many major Australian wine companies have been investing in Tasmania as they battle climate change, including Brown Family Wine Group and Yalumba.
FWG also became joint owner of Winemaking Tasmania after it went into voluntary administration in May, following its involvement in the recapitalisation of the McWilliam’s Wines Group in January.
The Tasmanian business, now rebranded as Tasmanian Vintners, will make wine for FWG and continue contract winemaking for other Tasmanian vineyards.
The operation supplies winemaking, bottling and production services and accounts for a significant percentage of Tasmania’s total finished wine production by volume, while also managing production for 30 boutique wine brands across the state.
Fogarty said FWG was expecting the first commercial grape yields from the new vineyard project in 2020.