John & Belinda Thompson established the winery in 1975 on farmland they owned where they raised sheep and crops. Since then they have carved out a formidable reputation with what some consider to be Australia’s best Riesling while all the time remaining very down-to-earth people indeed. They have planted Sauvignon & Semillon, Cabernet, Merlot, Cabernet Franc & continued to plant small plots of Riesling. They’re passionate about their land & their vines and it shows through the wines with a darting energetic life-force. Simply brilliant.
The Crawford River vineyard lies at the alluvial edge of a volcanic lava flow. The 11.5 Ha vineyard has its roots in an unusually complex, mineral-rich soil base. Gravelly, friable, basalt loam overlays permeable clay which in turn lies above a limestone base created by an ancient, risen seabed.
Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon are the two main varieties in the vineyard, with smaller plantings of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc.
All major activities such as picking, pruning, leaf-plucking, shoot-thinning and green pruning are done by hand.
John writes, “Our vineyard is maintained without the use of herbicides nor insecticides. We use organic practices and have a bio-dynamic test plot that Belinda has prepared and has planted with Riesling in the Spring of 2014.”
Halliday notes, “Time flies, and it seems incredible that Crawford River celebrated its 40th birthday in 2015. Once a tiny outpost in a little-known wine region, Crawford River is a foremost producer of Riesling (and other excellent wines) thanks to the unremitting attention to detail and skill of its founder and winemaker, John Thomson (and moral support from wife Catherine). His talented elder daughter Belinda has returned part-time after completing her winemaking degree and working along the way in Marlborough (NZ), Bordeaux, Rivera del Duress (Spain), Bolgheri and Tuscany, and the Nahe (Germany), with Crawford River filling in the gaps. She continues working in Spain, effectively doing two vintages each year.”
Find Crawford River wines in Sydney at Wine Goblet!