Thomas Walk Vineyard is a small, privately owned winery in the South of Ireland and not open to the public. Since the 1980s Thomas Walk has been producing his unique organic wines, and to the best of our knowledge he is the first wine-grower to successfully grow red grapes outdoors in Ireland.
Thomas Walk grew up in Lower Franconia in Germany, an area known for its dry, pure wines. This may explain his love of wine, as well as the fact that half of his genes stem from a wine-growing family native to the famous Baden wine-producing area in Southern Germany.
It would certainly have been easier to start a wine-making business in the tried and tested regions of Germany, but Thomas Walk is also an inquisitive entrepreneur who could not resist the temptation to try something new. His perseverance proved him right and, against the odds, a first harvest of gratifyingly good quality was reaped from his “Amurensis Walk” grape in 1989.
This had been preceeded by several years of co-operating with the relevant German institutes for wine growing and research while testing - and eventually rejecting - a number of grape varieties, such as Müller-Thurgau, Ortega, Silvaner, Regent, Reichensteiner, Riesling, Spätburgunder etc. In the end, only the grape “Amurensis Walk” proved to live up to the high standards of quality and sustainability desired by Thomas Walk. “Amurensis Walk” was initally named for its origin and Thomas Walk as the first winemaker to plant it in Ireland. It is now classified under the name of “Rondo”.
Over the years Thomas Walk Vineyard expanded to include further micro-climatic south facing slopes, all planted with “Amurensis Walk”. Only a short distance apart, every location has its own unique degree of maturity and ripeness, which come into consideration when harvesting and winemaking.
Initially, “Amurensis Walk” was made into a wine to suit family tastes. However, the number of those who enjoy our Irish wine grew, which led to the development of a dark red wine called “Ruby”, a lighter, softer variety named “Velvet” and a lovely, crisp Rosé. The crowning glory is the trademark-protected “Exubérance”, a vintage sparkling wine produced according to the “méthode traditionnelle”.
The entire production process - from growing vines through to bottling the finished product - is completely under our own management. This is the only way to ensure sustainable organic wine making to the standards we have set ourselves.
Note that since the very beginning our focus on organic grape production and wine making has been key. This is explained in further detail under “Ecology” and “Grape Variety”.