One of the Hunter's iconic vineyards marked another milestone in its comeback last weekend, as the owner of Winmark Wines, which was the former Pooles Rock vineyard on Wollombi Road south of Broke, celebrated the opening of an art gallery immediately adjacent to the cellar door.
Danish-born Karen Adcock, who launched the Pandora jewellery brand in Australia, is the public face of the Winmark. She purchased the property in 2016 from AGL.
The vineyard is dedicated entirely to chardonnay, which was the first variety planted there, in 1972.
Adcock has reinvigorated the vineyard, with expert help from vineyard manager David Grosser, viticulturist Liz Riley and consultant winemaker John Belsham (Xanthe Hatcher of Agnew Wines is making the Winmark wines). She has also expanded the property's accommodation offer, with four dwellings offering 34 beds.
In June, Winmark opened a cellar door. It features the two chardonnnays they offer: 2019 Rusty's Run ($32) and Winmark Single Vineyard Reserve ($49).
The take-up for Winmark's wine club, called Rock Club, has been strong. The wines will be available in selected restaurants, but there will not be much supply, if any, for bottle shops.
The subject of great pride for Adcock, a passionate art collector, the art gallery opened on Saturday. The gallery represents Rebecca Pierce, Felicia Aroney, James Ainslie, Erik Flygenring and sculptors David Ball, Michael Purdy, Ulan & Rachel and Katarina Wells. The property also features several sculptures, including a work by local Amanda Lockton.
Adcock says the purchase of the property "came about really as a place for family and friends to enjoy" originally.
"Once we were here, we realised this property had so much potential at so many levels. Number one, is actually vineyards," she says.
"Our wine cellar is only chardonnay. We have to offer something more. By having an art gallery, that brings something really nice to the cellar door experience. What we are really trying to achieve, is create a place where people can connect, what we are very much saying, when you come here, you almost move into another zone, you sit back, you relax."
Located at 229 Wollombi Road, Broke, the art gallery and cellar door are open seven days a week.