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Thorn-Clarke celebrate Five Red Stars in the Halliday Wine Companion

Thorn-Clarke winery has been awarded Five Red Stars at the 2022 Halliday Wine Competition, recognizing the outstanding winery for regularly producing wines of exemplary quality and typicity.

In this year's results, seven of the producer’s wines scored 90 points or above, with the three wines that are imported and distributed by RDM Wines in the UK scoring the following points:

92 points Varietal Collection Chardonnay 2020v

95 points William Randell Cabernet Sauvignon 2018v

94 points Ron Thorn Shiraz 2017v

James Halliday explains the Five Red Stars rating:

“Outstanding winery regularly producing wines of exemplary quality and typicity. Will have at least two wines rated at 95 points or above, and has typically held a 5-star rating for the previous three years (i.e. 4 years in total at 5 stars). Where the red stars are underlined, it is a winery generally acknowledged to have had a long track record of excellence, typically having held a 5-star rating continuously for 10 years – truly the best of the best.”

RDM Wines sales director, Bastien Martinole commented, “To be awarded 5 Red Stars is a great accomplishment for a small, family winery. We are really pleased for the family and proud to represent them in the UK”

About Five Red Stars

The James Halliday Wine Companion is Australia’s most comprehensive resource for wines, and James Halliday is the country’s most respected wine authority. His annual awards are awaited with excitement by the industry and wine lovers alike. To be awarded 5 Red Stars is a distinguished accomplishment. The Halliday Wine Companion describes a 5 Red Stars winery as an ‘Outstanding winery regularly producing wines of exemplary quality and typicity. Will have at least two wines rated at 95 points or above, and had a five-star rating for the previous two years.’ Of more than 3,000 wineries across Australia around 12% earn a 5 Red Star rating.

About Thorn-Clarke

A rich history

The 1870s were a very special decade for our family tree and its roots in the Barossa. One side settled on the fruit farm that would nurture some of the region’s oldest vineyards along with six generations of viticulturists. The other side, meanwhile, discovered a different treasure buried in the bounteous Barossa soil: the region’s first gold mine. Now, call it luck. Call it mere coincidence, if you wish but 100 years later, the two sides came together in a union that created our family, our winery and, some might say, our destiny: to produce wines worthy of gold.

In 1987, David and Cheryl Clarke bought their first property, Kabininge, near Tanunda. The family started to plant vines and it could all have ended right there. As the baby vines grew, David and Cheryl’s kids, Sam and Nicole, were conscripted to help water, prune and pick, all by hand. These were the hard yards. This is when Cheryl took charge and called in her family, the Thorns. Her father, Ron, and her brothers soon had the vineyard in premium condition, and it started to bear fruit – very good fruit, in fact – a tribute to David’s site selection and the Thorns’ vineyard management.

For over 10 years, the vineyards developed a fine reputation and the fruit was sold to neighbouring winemakers, who turned it into award-winning wines. This was pleasing, but hardly fulfilling. The leap of faith was taken with the 1998 vintage – small batches of Shiraz were made through to wine – and so began the Thorn-Clarke story.

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