Our Story


The Crawford River Vineyard was planted in 1975, in the relatively unknown region of far South-West Victoria. The location of the site – outside traditional wine growing areas at the time – owes thanks to the vision, hard work and determination of its founders, John and Catherine Thomson. Following research and inspiration from around the globe, they were inspired by its geographical and geological potential to produce superior quality grapes. After numerous soil explorations within an area of land originally settled in 1886 by John’s great grandfather for grazing, the first plantings of Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon took place in 1975. John promptly enrolled to study Viticulture and Oenology at Charles Sturt University, with more plantings in 1976 and 1977 and the addition of the winery in 1981. The cool, southerly latitude together with the maritime influence, complex soil structure and favourable micro-climate, create a terroir which has justified the initial vision.


Presiding over gently undulating grazing lands with sprawling forests in the distance, Crawford River paved the way for the area, in what is still a relatively unexplored wine growing region.  Now known as the GI of Henty, it remains merely a blot on the wine canvas. Since the initial plantings in the mid 1970s, there have been a number of new planting additions on our site.  1994 and 2001 saw extensions to our original plantings and we are now in a phase of replanting to ensure the longevity and future resilience of our special site.


Family owned and operated since its’ inception, the second generation is now operating and continuing to evolve the business. Following vast international experience in NZ and Europe since 2004, daughter Belinda encompasses all things Viticultural and Winemaking, having worked with her father seasonally since 2004 amongst her international expeditions and full time since 2014. Belinda views sustainable operations and longevity for future generations as paramount to the success of the business.

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