The name Thorn-Clarke derives literally from the relationship of two long time Barossa families. Founders David and Cheryl Clarke (nee Thorn) work with their son Sam in this family orientated business. The Thorn-Clarke family has a long history in the Barossa – six generations of involvement in the regions world famous wine industry.
Today the Clarke family is one of the Barossa Valleys largest grape growers and winemakers with 270 hectares of vineyard spread across four sites in the Barossa and Eden Valley. Having grown grapes and sold the fruit to other wineries for a number of years the Thorn-Clarke name is relatively young as a winemaker with the release of the first wines in 2001.
Cheryl Clarke’s ancestors settled in the Barossa in the 1870’s and for six generations have been involved in the wine industry. Cheryl’s father Ron Thorn’s property has some of the oldest Shiraz vineyards in Australia and possibly the world on the Thorn family property ‘Clifton’ outside of Angaston. Earliest records show this old vineyard was in existence in 1854.
David Clarke’s family were pioneers in the Barossa as well but most famously in the mining of gold from the Barossa Goldfields. One of his ancestors was James Goddard who was responsible for opening the Lady Alice gold mine in the Barossa goldfields and which was the largest gold mine in South Australia at the time. It has been David’s love of the wine industry that saw the planting of the Kabininge vineyard outside of Tanunda in 1987. The planting of the Kabininge vineyard represented the start of a deeper involvement by the family in the Barossa wine industry.