Pooley Wines was first established in 1985 when Denis and Margaret Pooley planted vines on the banks of the Coal River in southern Tasmania. With seven rows of Pinot Noir and ten rows of Riesling planted on their 16-hectare farm at Cooinda Vale as a retirement plan, Denis and Margaret found a renewed vigour for life. A vineyard that started as nothing more than a distraction for Denis and Margaret soon flourished into a renowned premium cool-climate site.
With the help of their son and grandchildren, three generations of the Pooley family have continued to bring meticulous care to their Cooinda Vale vineyard. In 1989, Cooinda Vale’s unique microclimate and terroir yielded its first vintage with the quality and consistency of fruit, speaking to Margaret and Denis’s love and dedication shown to their property. Denis continued working in the vineyard until his passing in 1994.
In 2003, John Pooley and his wife Libby bought Belmont, a heritage-listed Georgian home on the outskirts of Richmond. Pooley Wines expanded their estate and established a second vineyard, Butcher’s Hill, with its first vintage produced in 2007.
Until the passing of Margaret Pooley in 2010, three generations of the Pooley family were working in the vineyards with John’s son, Matthew Pooley, taking on the responsibility as Viticulturist. With Margaret’s granddaughter, Anna Pooley returning to the family business in 2013, Pooley was made entirely by family hands from this point onward.
Now, more than 35 years after Pooley Wines was first established, the family’s philosophy of making wines that reflect their unique environment while pushing the quality of the grapes and the wines even further has continued.
The Coal River Valley produces some of Australia’s finest wines, and Pooley Wines has been recognised as one of Australia’s most renowned cool-climate producers, with The Halliday Wine Companion awarding Pooley Wines 2023 Winery of the Year .
Anna & Matt Pooley
Brand Representative - Tasmania
Matt’s Grandfather (the late Denis Pooley) had a retirement passion – to establish a small 1 acre vineyard on a 40 acre block of land next to their farm, in Tasmania’s Coal River Valley. As a teenager in those early days of planting the vines, Matt helped prepare the soil and plant the original cuttings for his grandfather, and this was the start that took Matt into agriculture and later, viticulture.
After leaving school, Matt studied a Diploma in Farm Business Management at Marcus Oldham Farm Business Management College in Geelong. He returned to Tasmania in 1994 to continue running the family’s property, expanding his grandparent’s vineyard as well as starting a family of his own.
Matt then ventured out and diversified into setting up and operating under the Pooley Wines brand as a contract wine storage, packaging and distribution business for other Tasmanian wine growers. This business ran strongly for 10 years whilst Matt continued to focus on sustainably growing new plantings, the Pooley Wines name and reputation focusing on quality.
In 2013 Matt was awarded a Nuffield scholarship. His studies took him around the world, where he both learned and shared leading environmental and sustainable agricultural and viticulture methods from a hugely diverse range of wine producing regions.
From his small and early foray into vines and wines in 1983, Matt has been fortunate to see the family vineyards grow over the last 30 years and indeed see the fruits of his labour help build the family business into what it is today. It has been his passion and joy to learn, develop and share his sustainable wine production knowledge and best practices. After moving away from his role in the vineyard, Matt then stepped into a new role representing his family’s business out on the road in Tasmania as Pooley’s Brand Representative – Tasmania. “Moving into sales and a promotion role for the business was a natural progression for me, I’m excited to share my knowledge of the family business, the vineyards and the wines and am enjoying the new challenge.” Matthew Pooley.
For Anna, making wine is about community. As a child she loved being part of her family’s first harvest and it sparked a fascination that never went away. In high demand, she worked for some of Australia’s biggest names in wine. Today she’s back at the family estate as an important member of Tasmania’s wine community and its first third-generation winemaking family.
In 1985 Anna’s grandparents planted 17 rows of vines in Southern Tasmania’s Coal River Valley. From those early days, Anna was hooked. She loved the activity, excitement and sense of community around making wine. Over time the family expanded the estate and established a second vineyard, and Anna’s grandmother Margaret remained chief executive of the original Cooinda Vale Vineyard well into her 90s.
Anna’s early enthusiasm never left her. After school she headed to the mainland to study winemaking in South Australia. Her talent meant she was in high demand when she finished her studies in 2003, and her first job was at world-renowned winery Wolf Blass in the Barossa Valley. From there she racked up an impressive list of experiences, working in Austria and Italy’s Tuscany, and for several iconic wineries in Australia.
Opportunity led Anna to South Australia when she took on the job of winemaker for Treasury Wine Estate’s iconic Tasmanian brands, Heemskerk and Abel’s Tempest. Her star was on the rise. She won a series of awards and accolades including being named as one of the Wine Business Magazine Top 50 Most Influential Wine People of 2009 and Australian Young Winemaker of the Year by the Wine Society in 2010. In 2012, Anna completed the exclusive Len Evans Tutorial, the holy grail of wine industry programs.
In 2013, Anna returned home to become the winemaker for her family winery, Pooley Wines with her husband, Justin Bubb. Together, Anna and Justin have received critical acclaim with Pooley receiving recognition for being one of Australia’s leading cool climate producers.