The word ‘Moorilla’ means ‘rock by the water’ in various Aboriginal dialects. For thousands of years, the Moorilla site was home to the Tasmanian Aboriginal Mouheneenner People.
In 1948, Italian émigré and textile merchant Claudio Alcorso purchased a nineteen-hectare plot of land on what was known as Frying Pan Island – ‘a neglected orchard’ of ‘unkempt, unpruned apple and pear trees’ with a riverbank overhung with casuarina trees. This would become Moorilla with the first grapevines planted in 1958 and first vintage in 1962.
David Walsh purchased Moorilla in 1995 and Canadian ‘wild child’ Conor van der Reest took the helm as chief winemaker in 2007, championing the terroir of Moorilla’s vineyards, kick-started an ambitious cellaring program (cultivating wines with maturity) and helped design Moorilla’s new winery (a state-of- the-art facility).
Moorilla own two very different cool climate vineyards: Moorilla in the south (just north of Hobart and the same site as Mona) and St Matthias in the north (15kms outside of Launceston).