Meet the makers

Ian Roberts, Riversdale Estate Wines

Riversdale Estate lies in a rain shadow and its unique temperature is moderated by the warming influence of Pittwater.

Riversdale Estate, Tasmania

Riversdale Estate lies in a rain shadow and its temperature is moderated by the warming influence of Pittwater, which makes it a unique site for premium wine production. On the boundary of the property, Mount Pleasant Radio Observatory is run by the Physics Department of the University of Tasmania. The wave patterns featured on the labels of every Riversdale wine come from the radio frequencies of the constellations – Milky Way, Centaurus, Crux, etc. Because the site lies in a rain shadow, the region experiences clear skies and some of the longest daylight hours of any vineyard in Australia.

Cool southern winds, pure premium wines

Tasmania has a moderate maritime climate, cooled by winds from southern ocean with a small temperature fluctuation. Therefore Tasmania has mild spring and summer temperature, with warm autumn days and cool nights that allow grapes to ripen slowly, which help to develop the flavour and retain the natural acidity that gives wine freshness and balance.

Ian Roberts at Meet The Makers event

Nothing compares to Riversdale

Tasmania has earned an international reputation as a leading producer of premium cool-climate wine. In a rain shadow (very cooling climate, moderating influence of Pittwater), Riversdale is the only vineyard in the valley with water frontage, and receives less rain than surrounding areas. A twenty metre antenna has been measuring temperatures in a plot next to the water for planting of Pinot Noir. It’s significantly warmer by the water – there’s nothing in the area that can compare to Riversdale.

Meet Riversdale Winemaker, Ian Roberts

I bought Riversdale Estate, on the Pittwater waterfront, in 1980 while I was at University, planting vines in 1991. Great global locations often only have a small footprint which do not extend far due to the microclimate. Riversdale Estate is now the largest Tasmanian-owned vineyard in Southern Tasmania. We saw our excellent quality grapes winning medals for wines made by our grape buyers (with us not being recognised) so we launched our Riversdale Estate label in 2008 exclusively through Cellarmasters and immediately began enjoying success with our wines.

Riversdale Estate

Ian’s favourite wine moment

Winning a third consecutive Trophy for the Riversdale Crater Chardonnay 2011.

Ian’s Winemaking philosophy

1. Have a premium location for a vineyard

2. Grow premium grapes consistently

3. Employ premium winemaking techniques.



“We aspire to produce premium grapes that are used to create the finest of wines.” 

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