They've been lauded as one of Beechworth's rising stars, and for good reason.
There's something special cooking in the Schmölzer and Brown household.
Tessa Brown has a winemaking intellect so sharp it could cut diamond. With a wealth of experience garnered at flagship producers such as Beechworth icon Sorrenberg and Mornington Peninsula powerhouse Kooyong, Tessa has the perfect blend of passion and practicality.
Tessa has a vivaciousness, an energy, that thing which makes you want to be her friend. She’s sharp, she wears a perpetual smile, loves foraging for mushrooms and tolerates no bullshit.
Jeremy Schmölzer is an architect by trade. A keen eye for detail, an inquisitive spirit, and an arsenal of Dad jokes are Jeremy's weapons which he wields at will.
Since meeting Tessa his wine expertise has been sharpened by many vintages at home and even one at Keller in Germany, one of the world's great Riesling producers.
Together they are facing the balancing act of building not only a family, but a wine brand, and absolutely killing it on both fronts.
"Their wines will be a benchmark for a new generation of fine wine producers..."
- Mike Bennie (The Wine Front)
They purchased a small block of land high up in the back hills of Beechworth near the township of Stanley which they named Thorley vineyard. It's the highest and coldest site in Beechworth growing grapes. Snow is not unusual.
I visited the site a few years ago. Think small fledgeling vines, an eerie mist that hangs over everything, a rogue mob of roos playing in the clearing. A crisp chill in the air in January.
The stuff of tourism advertising. Aussie bush, quiet and beautiful. It’s stunning.
With friends and family, they planted over 10,000 vines on this block and have their first release from Thorley this year, an excellent cool climate Shiraz.
The buzz around the couple to this point has been generated from their precise, balanced and insanely drinkable modern examples of Beechworth wine.
Their Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs from the vineyard opposite Thorley, the Brünnen vineyard, are elegant and articulate.
The 'Pret-A-Range' of Rouge, Blanc and Rosé are the epitome of delectable table wines built for any occasion.
The measured and thoughtful approach from this formidable couple is yielding phenomenal results.
There are few wineries in the country with the potential and upward trajectory of Tessa and Jeremy.
You should try these wines.
As their star continues to rise, you'll be glad you did.