Forming Connections through History, Nature and Wine
Never one to do anything by halves, when Karin Adcock purchased the former Pooles Rock estate in 2016, she was determined to create a warm and welcoming environment that left guests with lasting memories and a desire to return time and gain.
It was this vision that drove Karin to transform the historic Pooles Rock property – now named Winmark Wines, into a world-class wine and tourism destination designed to connect guests with wine, architecture, history and nature.
Transforming the 130 breathtaking acres located in the rural locality of Broke was a real labour of love and a multi-stage process that involved restoring and replanting the property’s 28 acres of once fertile vines, some of which had withered and died in the five years before Karin took over. This included replacing about 10 acres of ailing Verdelho with a new Chardonnay clone from Burgundy.
This was done under the advice of viticulturist Liz Riley, and vineyard manager Dave Grosser, who literally grew up amongst the vines at Pooles Rock and New Zealander John Belsham acting as a wine consultant and working closely with the winemakers at the Agnew Group.
Another major project was the renovation and refurbishment of the properties three luxury guesthouses catering for up to 32 guests, with panoramic views of the vineyards and mountain and each showcasing their own unique character and furnished with antiques and artwork sourced from around the world.
Karin said she has loved every minute she has spent working on the various aspects of the property and can’t wait to see what else the future brings.
“There’s so many exciting things, and so many opportunities to get ideas of what we could do in the future … for me it's actually the journey which is exciting, not the end game, and there really is so much scope to what we can do”.
Representing yet another new chapter for Winmark Wines is the recent opening of their new cellar door which has been designed with an earthy, stylish, yet unpretentious character that honours the history of the property and the beauty of the landscape.
For Karin, the new cellar door provides yet another addition to the overall onsite experiences and the opportunity to introduce Winmark Wines to a much larger market.
The new building is located on the site of the original Pooles Rock storage sheds surrounded by towering gum trees, providing guests with an elegant and relaxing venue to taste the range of Chardonnay wines on offer whilst overlooking the vineyards and the iconic ‘Pooles Rock’, for which the estate was originally named – a large hollow in the rock that was reportedly used as a sleeping place by former English convict Richard Poole in the early days of the colony.
Historically, the property has always had a reputation for producing exceptional, award winning Chardonnay and by becoming specialist and solely Chardonnay producers, Winmark has provided themselves with a critical point of difference to other vineyards in the region.
After several years of careful nurturing in the vineyards, the 2019 vintage in the Hunter Valley was a standout with ideal dry conditions and premium fruit, leading to Winmark Wines increasing its tonnage for their two new releases – Rusty’s Run and the 2019 Single Vineyard Reserve Chardonnay. With the cellar door now open and receiving fantastic reviews for the wines, Karin is excited about introducing and sharing these wines with visitors to the Hunter.
“I am trying to create different, unique spaces on the property where people can come and stay for a while, explore the property, relax with a glass of wonderful wine, connect with the surrounding beauty and have a truly outstanding experience.”
For more information visit www.winmarkwines.com.au
Words: Quentin von Essen