Dalrymple Vineyard was established in 1987 by Bertel and Anne Sundstrup in the town of Pipers River, Tasmania, just a few kilometres south of Bass Strait. A doctor and nurse respectively, they settled in Tasmania after having travelled around France, gaining inspiration and guidance during their wine tours. The vineyards were planted to pinot noir and sauvignon blanc, two varieties well suited to the cool climate of northern Tasmania, with chardonnay and pinot gris added over the years. The wines are made by Peter Caldwell, who had worked in New Zealand at Te Kairanga Wines and Josef Chromy Wines in nearby Relbia, as well as doing apprenticeships in Burgundy, Bordeaux and California. In 2012, the current owners, Hill-Smith Family Vineyards, who manage 21 wine brands, acquired a 120ha property, with 10ha of pinot noir vines used exclusively for Dalrymple.
As one might expect, pinot noir is the star of the Dalrymple line-up, with fruit sourced from their estate vineyard, as well as from the Coal River Valley, and growers in Swansea on the east coast, and Ouse in central Tasmania. In addition to a blend of pinot noir from the different sites, there are also the Single-Site bottles, featuring the best fruit and showing subtle but noticeable variations on the nose and palate. Fans of white wines aren’t left out, with a Sauvignon Blanc (a blend from three vineyards) and Chardonnay also available. Caldwell stated that Dalrymple Vineyards taught him the art of patience, recognising that a vineyard ‘is an evolving organism buffeted by climate and wind and rain and sun.’ Each vintage is different and throws up its own challenges, with the fruit treated according to its strengths, such as with whole-bunch fermentation and aging in new French barrels. The single-site releases consistently receive high scores from critics, who praise them for the purity of fruit and silky tannins, as well as intensity and depth in the warmer years.Dalrymple’s wines can be explored on their website.