Trophy, Best New Act: Jonathan Hughes, Mewstone Wines
Young Gun of Wine, June 2018
Best New Winery of the Year: Mewstone Wines
James Halliday's Wine Companion, August 2018
Brothers Matthew and Jonathan Hughes established Mewstone Vineyard in 2011 on the banks of Tasmania’s D’Entrecasteaux Channel in the tiny hamlet of Flowerpot. The small, boutique vineyard is a former cherry orchard and with some new plantings this year will expand to an ultimate size of just 3.5 hectares. The original plantings consist mostly of Pinot Noir with small plantings of Chardonnay, Syrah, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc.
Jonny studied winemaking at Lincoln University in New Zealand before gaining further experience in regions as diverse and far-flung as Langhorne Creek, Central Otago, Mornington Peninsula, Barolo, the Hunter Valley and the Okanagan Valley. Back in Tasmania, he was the Assistant Winemaker at Moorilla for seven years, before moving on to a similar role at Pooley Wines in 2016, where the Mewstone and Hughes & Hughes wines are currently made.
Whilst the Mewstone wines are strictly produced from the Flowerpot vineyard, the Hughes & Hughes range of wines brings together fruit sourced from around Tasmania, with the aim of producing wines that are high on both natural acidity and drinkability. In addition, from time to time individual small batches are released that capture the results of investigations into the use of skins, stalks, solids and other fermentation variables. All Hughes & Hughes wines are bottled unfined and with low sulphur.
This Chardonnay is a blend of parcels selected from a few local Southern Tasmanian vineyards, and has quite a rich, voluptuous character that is powerful and precise. This is modern Tassie Chardonnay ala the great Dirk D'Meure and his neighbouring eponymously named wines.