When Jane and I purchased the Thompson Estate Wilyabrup property in 1994 it was a cow paddock, partly developed as a lavender farm (we still see the occasional lavender bush popping up in the vineyard). Years of trampling from the cows had resulted in soil compaction and acidification, requiring a lot of cross-ripping and soil preparation before we planted our first vines in 1997. Putting aside the minor quibble over the precise date of our birth, we believe we can reasonably claim to be approaching our 25th Anniversary!
Our decision to establish Thompson Estate in Wilyabrup has been rewarded with increasing national and international recognition, not only of our brand, but also of the standing of Margaret River and the Wilyabrup sub-region as producing some of the most sublime wines in the world. And yes, we take great pride in the achievements of our longer-established neighbours Vasse Felix, Cullen, Moss Wood, Pierro and Woodlands and revel in their success as much as ours (including Vanya Cullen’s recent stunning award of not one but two Winemaker of the Year awards in 2019).
Our vines on the Wilyabrup vineyard have now matured to their sweet spot and are providing superb quality fruit each year. Our move to organic/biodynamic principles has presented some challenges in weed control, but we are working through that, and the quality of the fruit continues to improve each year.
In recent years, demand for our wines has grown and for several vintages we had to rely on bought-in fruit to meet the demand. This presented price and quality uncertainties, so when a vineyard planted the same year as ours, with a reputation for high quality fruit on rolling gravelly slopes, came up nearby, we jumped at the opportunity. The new vineyard (pictured above) is located just behind the town of Cowaramup, 11 minutes to the South East of the home block, allowing easy sharing of staff and equipment. To cap off our expansion, we have also purchased a third vineyard adjacent to the second. As we approach our 25th
Anniversary, we are confident that the excellent reputation we have established as a consistently high quality Margaret River producer will continue to grow.