Andrew “Thommo” Thomas is winemaker and director of Thomas Wines. Since their first vintage in 1997, Thomas Wines have grown to become one of the Hunter Valley’s top producers specialising in Semillon and Shiraz. Sourcing his grapes from some of the Hunter Valley’s most distinguished sites, Thomas Wines produce world class, uniquely regional wine styles.
He’s also one-sixth, and “unofficial spokesperson” of Next Generation Hunter Valley – a mob of 6 winemaker mates from “The Hunter” with the shared belief that you can make great wine and have a lot of fun. The guys are about to hit the road on their third and most epic month long travelling wine bar, this May travelling from Brisbane to Melbourne, promoting their wares.
Recently we caught up with Thommo and asked him 10 questions about wine making and how he keeps busy when he’s not amongst the vines..
1. How did you get into wine making?
I grew up amongst the wines and vines of McLaren Vale, so it’s something I’ve always known.
2.What is your wine making philosophy?
The little one percenters make a big difference…
3. How and why did Next Generation Hunter Valley form?
Six Hunter winemaking mates realising that we can’t sit around waiting for people to come to us. We want to put the Hunter on the map as a great wine producing region. (Not to mention taking our wines to the people sounded like a whole lotta fun!!)
4. What are you looking forward to most on tour?
Seeing the awesome reaction I’m expecting with the new vintage releases I’m showing. And certainly NOT seeing Rhys Eather in his undies….
5. Where would we find you when you’re not in the vineyard?
Cheering for the Swans at the SCG
6. What’s one thing everyone should know about winemaking?
You can’t make a silk purse from a sows ear…. The very best wines come from the very best vineyards.
7. Where is your favourite place to EAT when you’re in Sydney?
There are soooo many great restaurants it’s almost impossible to pick a favourite. I like to explore new places all the time and Sydney is lucky to have so many new restaurants opening all the time.
8. What is your favourite DRINK?
Apart from great wine, I am quite partial to a cold peroni or a Dark and Stormy.
9. Best place to PLAY in Sydney?
Late evening play usually happens in one of the great small bars we have e.g. Love Tilly Devine, The Wine Library, 121BC etc.
10. What plate of food and drink would you bring to a potluck dinner?
I’d bring a plate of Sashimi, and a few bottles of young Hunter semillon. It’s the perfect match…
You can catch Thommo and the boys in action as their month long travelling wine bar kicks off next week! The month of madness will include 5 not-to-be-missed Pop Up Wine Bars and begins on Friday, 3 May in Brisbane. The boys will then pop up in Newcastle, Sydney (Friday 10 May), Canberra, and end with a bang in Melbourne.
If you’re thinking ‘another stuffy wine tasting’, it couldn’t be further from the truth. The events are always a big hit – a fun, relaxed night out where you can mingle with friends, taste top Hunter Valley wine and meet the winemakers themselves. There’s also great Hunter cheese, cool tunes by Ingrid and Paul, a free preview of the Salon des Refusés exhibition at the S.H Ervin Gallery and generally just a great vibe.
Tickets are just $35 and include over 24 #semsational Hunter wines from the 6 prized stables (David Hook Wines, Thomas Wines, Meerea Park Wines, Mistletoe Wines, De Iuliis Wines, Margan Wines) for you to try, plus the chance to meet the boys behind the brands and find out what really makes them tick.
Join the boys in Sydney on Friday 10 May, 6-9pm.
S.H. Ervin Gallery.
Observatory Hill, Millers Point, 2000.
(Access via Agar Steps on Kent St)
Tickets on sale now, be quick https://nextgenerationhuntervalley.iwannaticket.com.au/
For more information on the Next Generation Caravan of Courage head to http://www.nextgenerationhuntervalley.com.au/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org.