Grape to Glass | Andrew Trio, Small Wonder

Winemaking seemed like a great way to combine all of Andrew Trio's favourite interests; art, science, food, and wine. He completed a degree in winemaking straight after finishing uni, something he said was getting an early start.

"I love the hands-on nature and seasonality of winemaking and its blend of indoor and outdoor work. I've never looked back," said Trio.

Trio works for Small Wonder, a 20-hectare, certified organic vineyard in Tamar Valley, Tasmania. Small Wonder grow Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Gris.

"We aim to produce iconic wines that celebrate our unique place in the world, all while minimising our impact on the planet and creating a sense of community. We believe the benefits will follow if we responsibly manage our land, vines, and business."

Crafting a new wine starts with hard work in the vineyard, where Trio said it is vital to understand the fruit before you can understand the character of the wine it is capable of producing. 

"We divide our vineyard blocks into smaller parcels based on variations in vine clonal material, rootstock, pruning method, soil type, vine vigour, and vine maturity. In the winery, we continue this nuanced approach by utilising smaller format tanks and keeping batches of juice separate according to their origin," added Trio.

"For wines matured in barrel, the percentage of new oak is kept to a minimum, as this approach provides gentle support to the wine's structure without overpowering its intrinsic character."

Experimentation is an integral part of how they make wine. Small Wonder uses traditional and modern techniques, embracing curiosity and attention to detail. Small Wonder's unique location in the Tamar Valley inspires Trio to produce thoughtful and expressive wines reflecting the area.

"Our picking decisions prioritise flavour and acidity over sugar ripeness, resulting in wines which are lower in alcohol and more precise in their expression of site," said Trio.

Recently, Small Wonder has been busy designing a new winery, which has been two years in the making. Trio added that this had been an excellent opportunity to use the latest advances in wine production equipment.

The increased cost and reduced availability of packaging materials have been challenging in recent years and require advanced planning. Trio said this hasn't been easy as a new brand with a still evolving label. 

Trio encourages anyone wanting to pursue a winemaking career to get out and see the world. He noted that working in different countries and regions will give you a much broader perspective, which is vital to creating your own style.