Tranquil Vale Vineyard: A dream property

A cottage at Tranquil Vale Vineyard
Phil and Lucy Griffiths always dreamt of having a vineyard. One day, Lucy came across an Australian newspaper in London and saw an ad for a 25-acre property on the Hunter River. This all happened before the internet was widely available and without seeing any photos, they called the agent, put in an offer, and secured the property that they would one day transform into Tranquil Vale Vineyard. 

Phil and Lucy started their new life in Australia from scratch. Their picturesque property had no house and no vines. However, it did have good soil and direct Hunter River access. In 1997, they started digging the soil pits, planting their vines, and building their home. Tranquil Vale was transformed into the beautiful boutique vineyard and accommodation venue it is today.

Their days were spent looking after the children and setting up the winery while studying viticulture and winemaking at TAFE in the evenings. Their daughter, Connie was eight years old at the time and watched them create Tranquil Vale from the ground up.

The next chapter at Tranquil Vale

Connie saw first-hand how much work was involved in winemaking and by the time she turned 18, decided she wanted to explore a different pathway. She went to Mexico on a student exchange straight out of high school and then studied English and theatre, before moving to Asia to teach English for five years.

That was until she saw a bottle of Hunter Valley Shiraz from a restaurant in Malaysia with her husband. After ten years of travelling and teaching, she was excited to see it on the menu and had to have a taste. The first sip took her all the way back home and she realised how deeply intertwined wine is with place. The Hunter Valley had sent her a message in a bottle and she was ready to go back home.

When she returned to Tranquil Vale with her husband, she started retraining as a winemaker. She studied wine science at university and started making wine with Phil again. In 2017, she took over the management of the property with her husband, Randeep, and her children Bryn, Keiran, and Ranwyn.

These days, Connie gets to live at Tranquil Vale Vineyard, run the cellar door and accommodation, and make wine with her father. She feels lucky to wake up every day to do something she loves.

Let the fruit shine through

Connie Kaur Griffiths pours a vineyard guest a glass of wine.
A bottle of Luskintyre Pink wine from Tranquil Vale Vineyard

In the family’s humble opinion, wine is a drink, first and foremost. It’s about community, family, and sharing. It’s fun to pair it with food and it doesn’t need to get more complicated than that.

Lucy and Phil make uncomplicated wines with depth. They want the fruit to shine through and are happy to celebrate vintage variation, as long as the wine is delicious. 

Guests at the Tranquil Vale cellar door are also given space to be subjective. Connie loves having the opportunity to change people’s perspectives on wine, especially if they have had a bad experience with a certain style in the past. One of her favourite aspects of the job is seeing people’s faces light up when they are pleasantly surprised and hearing them describe the flavours that speak to them. 

In the family’s humble opinion, wine is a drink, first and foremost. It’s about community, family, and sharing. It’s fun to pair it with food and it doesn’t need to get more complicated than that.

They love helping people to relax and have fun at their cellar door, rather than prescribing what their experience should be. When Lucy and Phil started planting the vines, they noticed that there wasn’t much available for families and had the vision to create a welcoming experience with on-site accommodation from the start. 

The vines at Tranquil Vale Vineyard

Process and place

Despite having a relaxed approach to wine tasting, Connie does respect winemakers who honour process and place. 

“A lot of younger winemakers and people who have been well-trained are creating wines that truly show terroir. They have a strong sense of place and their wines are without fault because they have a deep understanding of the technicalities of winemaking. Consumers might be starting to drink a little less, but that also means that there is a budget and appetite for higher-quality wines. Wine isn’t just a drink, it’s an occasion and when people do open a bottle of wine these days, it’s for a reason. People are more invested in the product itself and that’s exciting.”

The Tranquil Vale family grows terroir-driven Semillon, Chardonnay, and Shiraz with the philosophy that the best wines are made in the vineyard. Their Semillon is fresh and light while their Chardonnay has a subtle interplay between oak and nicely balanced fruit. Their Shiraz is also emblematic of the Hunter Valley’s medium-bodied style.

They always strive for lightness and balance, believing that wine should be pleasant from the first smell to the last sip.

Bottles of Shiraz and Shiraz Cabernet from Tranquil Vale

Fortune favours passion

For Connie, making wine is a passion. “There is a saying in the wine industry, that if you want to make a fortune, then you better start with a bigger fortune. It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme. We do it because we love it.” 

The hard work at Tranquil Vale hasn’t disappeared, but over time Connie has grown to deeply love the winemaking process and sharing a little slice of the place she gets to call home.

Experience wine from Tranquil Vale Vineyard

Want to have boutique wine from Tranquil Vale delivered straight to your doorstep? Shop their boutique wine via Wine Valet.