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2022 Polish Hill River Riesling

2022 Polish Hill River Riesling

The 2022 growing season was superb - a long and cool ripening period enabled the vines to maintain a healthy canopy up until harvest.

David O'Leary Winemaker
  • Wine Club Members Price
  • Vegan
  • Organic




Clare Valley

Food Pairing





Pale straw with green hues.


The bouquet provides notes of floral lime, talc, musk and hints of fennel.


The palate is taut with powerful lime, slatey minerality, great depth of flavour balanced with beautiful natural acidity.

Ageing Potential

We love to enjoy this Riesling while fresh, however it also has excellent cellaring potential - up to 20 years.


Despite growing these vines organically since their planting in the 1970s, 2010 marked the first year of NASAA Organic Certification for these vineyards. Martin and Joan Smith and Molloy's vineyards are virtually next to each other in Polish Hill River and consistently produce top quality fruit which highlights the excellence of this sub-region of the Clare Valley. Grey loam acid soils over sandstone and slate make up the profile with much of the top soil littered with rock, proving just how tough the vines need to be to sustain growth and produce quality fruit. It is the slate of Polish Hill River, as opposed to the limestone of Watervale, that gives rise to the point of difference between these styles.


Fruit is harvested in the cool of night, de-stemmed, crushed and gently pressed. This results in a fine free-run cut and a pressings component, with all batches kept separately in stainless steel tanks. The free-run juice is chilled to preserve the vineyard expression and purity of fruit. Once the juice has settled it is racked off solids and seeded with yeast. A cool, temperature controlled fermentation is carried out over 10-14 days. The wine is then chilled and filtered prior to bottling.  

Technical Details

Alcohol - 11.5%

pH - 3.10

Acidity - 7.7g/L

Awards + Reviews

95 Points, James Halliday's Top 100 List (White Wines under $30)

"Planted circa 2001, but organically grown and made since 2010. It has an evocative bouquet with its mix of citrus and talc which take shape on the palate, with its extraordinary staying power, acidity just as it should be."

97 Points, Wine Pilot 

"The twin to the glorious Watervale, as is so often the case with these two Clare Valley sub-regions, the Polish Hill River bottling is the less forthcoming of the pair on release, but it has all the attributes to ensure it is the longer-lived of the pair (although these two will age for so long in a good cellar, that seems irrelevant). The vineyards, farmed organically for decades, are grey loam over sandstone and slate, with the topsoil littered with rock. As the guys say, it shows just how tough the vines here must be to produce the elite level of fruit that they do. The team sees the slate of the Polish Hill River, as opposed to the limestone of Watervale, providing the different styles between the two. Harvest takes place at night to ensure cool conditions. The fruit is de-stemmed, crushed and gently pressed. The free-run juice and a pressings component are all kept separate in stainless steel tanks. The juice is chilled, settled and racked, before yeast is added and a cool fermentation takes place over a period of 10 to 14 days.The wine is not as expressive as the Watervale at this early stage but that will come. The colour is near crystal clear with the palest hint of sunrise. More steely and taut, this is focused and tight, more reticent at the moment but you know that glories are to follow when this blossoms. Limes, spices, grapefruit and a minerally backing. Wet stones. Bright, edgy acidity, incredible length and coiled power. This will sail through twenty years in a good cellar and the score will likely improve. These two wines are compelling evidence as to why the team are considered to make some of the very finest Rieslings in all the land." Ken Gargett

96 Points, Wine Pilot

"What an extraordinary wine! Speaks of a great vintage, a great grape variety, and a special bit of dirt high in the Clare Valley – loam over sandstone and slate – where Riesling shines. Striking scent of lemon blossom, citrus, red apple, orange peel, honey and bergamot. Alive and vital. A world of citrus awaits on the palate: grapefruit pith, citrus zest, lemony and intense. Polish Hill River is noted for its spice. It’s here, wrapped around a steel, minerally, lasting acidity. Taut as a drum but with great depth. Love the mouth-watering pithiness to finish that works the tastebuds, temptingly so. Where are freshly shucked oysters when you need them? Don’t overchill if you are planning to open a bottle soon, it will promote the youthful, firm acidity and demote the delicate fruits and aromatic spice. Better still, leave it for a little while . . . if you can." - Jeni Port

96 Points, Wine Pilot

"A remarkably intense and powerful Riesling from this outstanding season. There’s the spicy bath salts on the nose that strike immediately. The palate has a deep minerality with a slightly wet slaty edge adding to the immediate complexity and a very long palate sustained by that crisp and crunchy acid. Like the Watervale, these wines sell for far less than they should." - Ray Jordan

96 Points, QWine

“Boom! Steely, focused and damn fantastic. A brilliant Riesling, this is the best Polish Hill River release from O’Leary Walker that I have seen to date. Bravo.

From a year that mirrored the outstanding 2002, the fruit is sourced from a certified organic vineyard. That river stone minerally vibe synonymous with this sub-region calls all the shots once again and I just want more. I’d have this with plump oysters or fresh king prawns but I doubt I’d touch either before a glass sinks down the tube. The precision of fruit and brilliantly handled acidity take this up another level. Cut limes and a flash of green apple peel are the heroes. With a proven ability to age, laying a few down wouldn’t hurt either. But for now, I’m lapping up the freshness.”

91 Points, The Real Review

“Bright lemon and lime tints to the rim. Grapefruit pith and papaya aromas. Great length and focus with grapefruit core and a saline minerality. Good length and bone dry to the finish”

Silver, 2022 Clare Valley Wine Show

92 Points Bronze, 2022 Royal Adelaide Wine Show

92 Points Silver, 2022 Royal Melbourne Wine Show

Notable Releases


Awarded 96 points by James Halliday in the Halliday Wine Companion, this delicate wine is wonderfully balanced with signature minerality and crisp natural acidity.

David O'Leary Winemaker


Powerful florals, riverstone minerality and fine natural acid. A fantastic vintage for the Clare Valley, our 2017 Polish Hill River Riesling is delicately perfumed with bath powder and a hint of musk sticks.

David O'Leary Winemaker


Awarded an outstanding 96 points from the Halliday Wine Companion, fruit for this wine is harvested in the cool of night, de-stemmed, crushed and gently pressed. A cool, temperature controlled fermentation is carried out over 10-14 days.

Nick Walker Winemaker


Our 2011 Polish Hill River was recently awarded a gold medal at the prestigious 2020 International Wine Challenge in London. This Riesling drank wonderfully while young and lean, however has only improved with time, retaining kaffir lime and mandarin notes with the added complexity of almond and apricot on the bouquet.

David O'Leary Winemaker