Stone Bridge Wines is a family-owned boutique winery located just a hop, skip and jump from the Clare Valley Visitor Information Centre at the southern end of Clare.
Sourcing premium fruit from three select parcels in the district, Craig and Lisa Thomson produce small batches of hand-crafted wines from mostly dry-grown vines ranging from 30 to 60 years of age. Their popular, award-winning line-up includes Shiraz and Riesling through to less run-of-the-mill varieties such as Grenache Mataro, Pinot Gris and Cabernet Malbec.
Offering a complete food and wine experience at their rammed-earth cellar door, the Thomsons serve their ever-popular house-made sweet and savoury wood oven pizzas for guests to enjoy during the warmer months with a glass or more of wine.
We recently spoke with the passionate team at Stone Bridge Wines and here’s what they had to say.
Clare Classic: Many of us who enjoy quality wine don’t realise the long path from the vineyard to the table – can you tell us more about what’s involved and what makes your wines so unique?
StoneBridge: At Stone Bridge Wines, we have a dedicated team of three full-time staff with an in-depth knowledge of the flavours and styles produced from each of our vineyards.
Like our star-performing 60-year-old Grenache vineyard with its two and a half acres of bush vines that produce low-yielding yet premium quality fruit. Dry grown, it produced our 2012 Grenache Mataro which received 5 stars from Winestate magazine in 2013.
And then there’s our 45-year-old Riesling patch which consistently produces wines with a coveted sweet lime flavour. The Clare Valley is famous for its Riesling and our Rieslings don’t disappoint having won dozens of awards since 2006.
Our in-house, small batch production means our team can respond quickly to seasonal changes, producing true-to-style, hand-crafted wines. And we take this hands-on approach to our vineyards, where we hand prune and hand pick most of our harvest.
We’re also committed to sustainable practices, with sheep meandering through our vines to reduce weeds and organic fertiliser used to enrich the soil.
CC: For those who haven’t visited the region before can you give the ‘Top 3’ reasons to visit – Why the Clare Valley?
- One of the perks of visiting cellar doors in the Clare Valley is that you’ll often encounter the passionate people who founded the wineries. It’s not only a great chance to uncover the colourful, behind-the-scenes stories of wine-making, but also to get the inside scoop on the region.
- Sight for sore eyes. It doesn’t matter when you visit the Clare Valley, the surroundings are picture perfect! It’s a patchwork of vineyards and paddocks, dotted with tree-lined laneways and historical buildings. And there’s no better way to immerse yourself in it than by bike!
- Tantalise your tastebuds. There’s no shortage of culinary delights to be enjoyed in the Clare Valley. Terroir Auburn, Paulett Wines’ Bush Devine Café and Seed Winehouse + Kitchen are just a few of the gourmet icons of the Valley. And don’t forget our much-loved wood oven pizzas on weekends!
CC: The cycling event is set to showcase the Clare Valley to thousands of cyclists and their families – What does news of this event mean to you?
SBW: Hopefully it doesn’t mean Craig will dig out his moth-eaten lycra! But we do hope it means introducing a host of new people to the fun and relaxed vibe of the Clare Valley.