Thistledown Wine Company


Hand-making delicious, joyful wines – all sourced from amazing vineyard sites in the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, Clare Valley & Langhorne Creek.


  • Hand-crafted. Small Batch Grenache,Chardonnay & Shiraz.

Additional Information

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Peter Leske
"The Australian of German Descent"

Peter is a well known face in Australian wine, having had a high profile career working for the likes of Nepenthe, Grosset and Domaine Dujac in Burgundy. In 2012, Pete bought back the old Nepenthe winery in Lenswood, Adelaide Hills and re-named it Revenir. Well equipped with all the toys needed to make brilliant small batch wine, this is the home for Thistledown and where Pete is based full time.

A brilliant winemaker, capable of juggling all manner of issues at harvest time and an all-round good egg, Pete is fundamental to the quality of what we make at Thistledown.


Ever since fellow Scots, James Busby and John MacArthur founded the Australian wine industry in the early 19th century, the relationship between Scotland and Australia has been an enduring one. Guardians of this long history, Thistledown Wine Co continues the tradition of Scottish ingenuity and great Australian wine.

From our base in the idyllic Adelaide Hills, we work with pristine fruit sourced from iconic vineyard sites. Peter Leske, Giles Cooke MW and Fergal Tynan MW hand-make small-batch wines that illustrate the benefits of great sites and intelligent winemaking.

The unique blend of superb fruit sources and experience in both the New and the Old Worlds helps craft wine of subtlety, texture and detail – wines perfectly suited to complement rather than overwhelm fine food.

The Team

Giles Cooke MW
"The Pom"
Founder and Co-Conspirator

Giles has travelled the world buying wine and creating engaging new products but something has always drawn him back to Australia, where much of his early travel in the wine trade was done. Having met Fergal over a beer on the evening before the Master of Wine 1st year course, there was a certain inevitability that they would, one day, make wine together.

As well as passing the MW exam at the first attempt, Giles has winemaking experience in Spain, California and Australia - along with extensive consulting to wineries on wine styles and packaging.
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Fergal Tynan MW
"The Irishman"
Founder and Co-Conspirator

Having kissed the blarney stone at an early age, Fergal's trajectory through wine has been hard and fast with extensive travel throughout Europe, South America and Australia. Like Giles, regular, long exposures to Australian wine have led to an enduring love for the wines, people and regions that, in the end, lured him into the actual making of it. Fergal became an MW in 2004.

Practices & Techniques

Our aim at Thistledown is to make wine of great purity, precision and energy. We're not here to impress with size, weight, alcohol or oak. As our name suggests, our wines may appear robust on the surface but we seek deep flavours and complexity that can be peeled back, layer by layer.

We source our fruit from many of the best sites in the iconic regions of South Australia. We work with growers in each of our chosen regions who are committed to viticulture that allows the fruit to freely express itself. In reality this means relatively low yields to enable concentration of flavour and to allow us to pick a little earlier than many.

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We started with a vision to produce wines that are definitively "of their place" and though that sounds a bit pretentious its just about making wines that we feel reflect the personality of the place, the growers and of course us.

We love wines with life, vibrancy of fruit, texture, tension and drinking appeal. In order to achieve this, we only buy very high quality grapes from growers who share our vision and are prepared to work with us to deliver pristine fruit to the winery.

It's become the norm in some regions to give the grapes extended hang time and to look for fruit sweetness and ripe flavours in the vineyard. We prefer to work with fruit that still has great balance of sweetness, acidity and tannin - fruit that we pick "on the way up rather than on the way down"

Estate Vineyards / AVA

Working closely with growers in Langhorne Creek, Clare and the Barossa Valley, our wines demonstrate the synergies of the best grape varieties grown in the right places.
Beautifully and strikingly packaged, each variety is allowed to display the freshness, vitality and balance that defines their character.

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