While the modern Tasmanian wine industry is young in terms of years established, Bream Creek can be considered as one of the industry’s pioneering wineries. The vineyard at Bream Creek –7.5 hectares in size – was planted in the early 1970s, making it one of the earliest commercial vineyards planted in Tasmania. The Bream Creek brand was established by leading Tasmanian vigneron Fred Peacock back in 1990, at a time when there were less than 10 commercial wineries in the entire state. For more than 25 years, Bream Creek wines have been consistent award winners, helping to showcase the very best of Tasmanian wines to Australia (and the rest of the world).
Planted in 1974 on Tasmania’s east coast, Bream Creek is one of the state’s oldest vineyards. The original 5 hectares consisted mainly of Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon, with smaller plantings of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer.
The vineyard was purchased by Fred Peacock in August 1990, who increased Pinot Noir plantings and introduced Sauvignon Blanc and Schonburger (the first commercial plantings in the Southern Hemisphere of this rare German varietal). With his dedication and passion, this pristine vineyard is now a 7.5 hectare showcase of grape varieties ideally suited to the cool maritime climate of East coast Tasmania.
Marion Bay is steeped in history. Bream Creek Vineyard overlooks the place where Abel Tasman first landed in 1642 to collect water and to plant the Dutch flag. Later in 1772, French Navigator Marion du Fresne anchored his ships Mascarin and Castries in what is now known as Marion Bay.
Today, the Bream Creek district is a rural area with a small but thriving coastal community, well known for its painters, sculptors, fine furniture makers, jewellers and potters. Bream Creek Vineyard forms an integral part of this passionate rural mosaic.
Bream Creek Vineyard is planted on a north-east ridge overlooking Marion Bay and the Tasman Sea on Tasmania’s east coast. This combination of a gently sloping site, coastal location and maritime influence provides optimal ripening conditions for premium quality grapes. The long, mild seasons feature cool frost free springs, long sunny summer days with gentle sea breezes to moderate the summer heat and an extended autumn ripening period to enhance flavour development. The surrounding topography and forest offer a natural windbreak from the strong, cold winds.
Soils are deep and range from brown to black clay loams with a little small stone on the higher ground. Particular attention has been made to match varieties to the different range of soil types within the vineyard.
All vines are vertical-shoot positioned, with most of the management, including pruning and picking, done by hand. With both small berries and quite small bunches, the very modest yields enhance the typical varietal characters – perfect for truly cool climate winemaking.