Off-grid winery named business of the year

Moores Hill Estate owner Fiona Weller.
Moores Hill Estate owner Fiona Weller.

Moores Hill Estate owner Fiona Weller was settling in with a glass of wine at the 2017 Business Excellence Awards when she was again called up to the stage.

After winning the opening award for Best Environmental Practice early in the night, she thought that would be the end of her public recognition.

But hours later Ms Weller and her business was selected as the Launceston Chamber of Commerce’s business of the year.

“It was a pleasant surprise,” she said.

“We were thrilled with the environmental award and I was thinking I was in for a nice evening.”

It was demonstrating we were innovating and using new technology.

Fiona Weller

The achievement of business of the year was selected by six panel judges – and did not require a nomination.

Moores Hill Estate’s award for environmental achievement comes after it became the state’s first off-grid winery.

“It was demonstrating we were innovating and using new technology,” Ms Weller said of the award.  

The creation of a renewable energy base load on the property gives the company more control of production. 

But changing from a domestic electric supply to a three-phase power system was not a walk in the park.

“It was looking expensive to dig trenches and lay cables for three-phase power,” Ms Weller said. 

“Solar suddenly became a very attractive option.”

Along with the estate’s environmental achievements, Ms Weller predicts tourism success also contributed to being recognised as business of the year. 

“The wine industry is very competitive and customers are looking for a point of difference,” she said of the solar-powered site. 

“With our winery we can bring people into the winery and show people how wine is made.”

She said it had been a busy 12 months for the estate, and she was now looking to enjoy the fruits of the labour.

“We’re looking forward to a busy summer and we think there will be a lot of visitors coming to northern Tasmania,” she said. 

In the next six months Ms Weller will release the next batch of drink.

“These wines are literally powered by the sun,” she said.