Clarence House Winery

Clarence House was built in the early 1830s by William Nichols – “master builder and overseer of convicts” – who had substantial holdings in the district of the Clarence Plains Rivulet. The house itself was built in two stages, whereas the adjoining stables began construction in 1826 and were not finished until 1928. Clarence House was sold at auction in 1844 following failed business ventures in windmills by William Nichol’s son. It eventually passed on to the Chipman family who remained farming the valley until Charles Chipman’s death in 1955.
The ownership by the Tsamassiros family, culminating in a fire allegedly started by squatters in 1973. It was then restored by the Kline family, followed by the McGuigan and Newman families until the property was acquired by the Kilpatrick family in 1993.
David Kilpatrick, a former cardiologist and Professor of Medicine at the University of Tasmania, bought and planted Clarence House Estate in 1998. As a passionate enthusiast and consumer of the great wines of the Old World, David chose to plant a combination of varieties that would highlight the wonderful suitability of the site to elegant, nuanced wines inspired by those of Europe. He is very much involved in the day-to-day running of the property, living on site with his family at the Clarence House homestead, often found riding on the mower, tinkering in the toolshed or loading wine onto the landcruiser for local deliveries.

The Clarence House vineyard is situated on a moderately sloping, rolling hill that faces north-east, enjoying the benefits of early morning sun without the harsh impact of late afternoon heat. The vineyard is managed conscientiously, with judicious use of inputs and sustainability in mind. Systemic herbicides, insecticides and fungicides are not used. The vineyard undervine area is slashed, the inter-row sward is left to thrive and flower, irrigation is used sparingly and the vine canopies are treated in such a way as to promote balanced, tempered growth in line with the current season’s conditions. In doing so, the Clarence House fruit boasts beautiful aromatics, fresh natural acidity and physiologically ripe tannins.