Wine just what Doctor ordered

A NEW wine processing facility has begun operations filling a void in the market by helping small producers take their grapes from vine to bottle to customer.

Dr Island at Cambridge is a partnership between James Broinowski of Small Island Wines and Peter Dredge of Dr Edge.

It’s role is to provide equipment, know-how and accessibility for smaller-scale producers and winemakers to get their products made and bottled.

Both producers source their grapes from multiple regions in Tasmania as well as producing wine for growers in those regions.

Mr Broinowski said since he founded Small Island Wines in 2015, and as they grew alongside the Tasmanian wine industry, they noticed that processing became harder to find on the small scale.

“We identified a bit of a niche, a lot of Tasmanian farmers are diversifying, putting in vineyards, and then the vineyards becoming a key part of the business but without the downstream facilities to process their product, to turn in to wine, because the ones that exist already are full,” Mr Broinowski said.
“The idea is people can have their wine made by us, they send down their grapes and we take over from there, all the way to the bottle.
“We are focusing on a lot of smaller producers, we can give that attention to a lot of small, individual vineyards, like what we do ourselves.”

Currently catering for about 200 tonnes of product from about 20 Tasmanian producers ranging from two to 80 tonnes, they have begun to expand their operations towards the 500 tonne mark, with the aim of reaching up to 900 tonnes of product in the future.

The facility also bottles the producer’s wine at a rate of 1000-1500 bottles per hour.

“In December, this was a patch of dirt, we’ve gone pretty hard at building over this year to open for the upcoming season, but we’ve already started working.”

Down the track, Dr Island will also add a cellar door to their operations, to offer an avenue for customers to directly access the produce of smaller Tasmanian vineyards.

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