Vineyard of the Year

2017 Tasmanian Vineyard of the Year Field Day

18 May 2017

Picturesque Milton Vineyard on the East Coast, north of Swansea, has been named Roberts Tasmanian Vineyard of the Year for 2017

As part of its Award, it will host a field day at the Vineyard on Thursday May 18. Michael and Henry Dunbabin will provide a tour of the vineyard and explain some of the viticultural methods they employ which brought them the Award of the Tasmanian Vineyard of the Year.

Milton Vineyard is about 10 minutes north of Swansea on the Tasman Highway. It is set on a sloping hill, and the cellar door venue – a beautiful old cottage – will be our presentation and luncheon centre for the day.

Wines will be supplied by Milton Vineyard together with a selection of medal winning wines from the Royal Hobart International Wine Show. Attendees will be able to enjoy the ambience of an old cottage which overlooks a lagoon filled with water fowl with the gently sloping vineyard on the far bank.

 Milton Vineyard: a wonderful venue to network and hear

about trends in the wine making industry, together with

Milton Vineyard’s presentation about the attributes

 that made it Tasmanian Vineyard of the Year.

 “We’re thrilled with this Award,” said Henry Dunbabin. “The Royal Agricultural Society of Tasmania is a highly respected institution, and their Award is great recognition of Mum and Dad’s work over 25 years in diversifying part of the farm into a vineyard”.

  • Major sponsor Roberts will be at the field day, displaying some of the latest farm equipment in its product range
  • Eftpos will be available
  • An announcement will be made of the Tasmanian Small Vineyard of the Year.



Milton Vineyard is a family operation. It was first farmed in 1826 initially for fine Tasmanian wool.

4ha of grapes were planted in 1992. Now the vineyard has expanded to 20ha

Initially grapes were sold to Hardy’s. But in 2005 the vineyard developed its own Milton label.

The Dunbabins describe the vineyard as a gentle north-facing slope, wi9th plenty of sunlight and a stony, dolerite free-draining soil.

In all, the property covers 1,800ha, part bush and also retaining its original function as a fine wool producer.

Judges’ comments

Entries in the Awards are judged over two rounds by wine industry experts to decide the best managed vineyard of the year. Major sponsors of the Award are Roberts Ltd and Bennetts Petroleum, along with Rabobank and Geo Tas.

“Milton Vineyard managers Michael and Henry Dunbabin aim to produce premium grapes for quality wines and, achieving this goal in 2017, have won the accolade as Tasmanian Vineyard of the Year,” said Frank Walker, the RAST’s representative on the judging panel.

“With close attention to nutrition, pest and disease control they have produced quality fruit from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Gewurztaminer, Riesling, Pinot Meunier and Shiraz vines across a 13 hectare vineyard.”

The judges were impressed by the vineyard’s record-keeping. “Very good records provide valuable data from which the family has successfully planned the expansion of the vineyard and cellar door operations in recent years.

“The Dunbabins have made a point of having a fertiliser program that ensures nutrient balance by replacing those used by the developing vines and the grapes harvested. Comprehensive soil test and petiole data provide a sound basis for determining the fertilisers required for the various blocks”.

Judges Fred Peacock, representing the Industry, Paul Smart from Wine Tasmania, Frank Walker for the RAST and last year’s winner, Alex Van Driel from the Tea Tree Clover Hill Vineyard, were also impressed with the way in which canopy management supported optimum commercial yields of fruit.

“In recognising the favourable property environment the Dunbabins are realising the full potential of the property with their viticultural enterprise”.

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