Our Story


The history of the Winmark Wines is richly layered in stories and entwined with personal connections.

The vineyard was established in 1988 by the late founder of Macquarie Bank, David Clarke. David named the vineyard after the iconic large rock on the property, Pooles Rock. Local rogue and former convict Richard Poole was known to sleep in the hollow of the rock he eventually bequeathed his name to.

Pooles Rock vineyard quickly became famous for its award-winning chardonnays until it was sold in 2011. The vines languished, neglected, for the next five years until Karin Adcock and John Winstanley rediscovered the property and purchased it in 2016.

The couple had rented a house on the Mornington Peninsula the previous Christmas to host their large family. Their primary motive in buying Pooles Rock was to recreate the tone of this successful holiday and nurture an environment where family and friends could comfortably connect. The pair’s combined backgrounds as executives and entrepreneurs and their varied experience in the wine industry and in managing large properties quickly saw them restore the vineyards and the luxury and cottage homes.

“The property gives me an immense sense of peace,” Karin said. “I love being there and creating a beautiful space we can enjoy and share. I feel quite strongly that if you have something that is very beautiful you should share it with friends and family and extend it outwards.”

Karin’s love of trees and interiors gave the property its personality. She commissioned one of Australia’s most outstanding landscape architects, Paul Bangay OAM, to create and link the perennial and rose garden and gazebo, the 12.5m pool and tennis court. She also commissioned relatively unknown sculptor David Ball, just before he won the 2017 Bondi Sculpture by the Sea major prize, to build Biosis, a massive steel structure that is perched above the vines.

The pair employed two talented individuals with strong links to the area, viticulturist Liz Riley and vineyard manager Dave Grossner.

Karin and John created a series of Winmark landmarks, including the fire pit entertaining area and Karin’s Koppie, a formal stand of 40 deciduous trees overlooked by the ancient Yellow Rock escarpment.

The rebuilding of the cellar door, designed by Karin’s sister, award-winning international architect Fong Chan Zeuthen, is due for completion in 2019.

The Pooles Rock name was not sold with the property so Karin and John settled on “Winmark Wines”. The name works on two levels. Firstly, it combines John’s surname, Winstanley, with Karin’s maiden name, Enemark. Secondly, “Winmark” – in Karin’s native Danish – means “field of wines”.



The Vineyard

The full 28 acres of vineyard has been meticulously nurtured and revitalised by 2017 Viticulturist of the Year Liz Riley (link to profile) and Vineyard Manager Dave Grosser (link to profile).
One chardonnay vintage is being offered in October 2018 and two will be offered in October 2019.
10 Acres of Verdelho were pulled out due to their poor state and new Burgundy clone Chardonnay were planted in September 2017. First vintage is January 2019.

Roses now bookend each row in a nod to tradition. Roses were once known as “the canary of the coalmine” as they acted as an early-warning system for fungus. They also attracted insects such as aphids away from the vines and were said to encourage draft horses to turn properly because of their punishing thorns.

Private Residence

Winmark Residence is a luxury two-storey residence designed for an indulgent getaway or executive rental with access to a pool, tennis court, perennial and rose garden and overlooking gazebo.

Rock Cottage

The popular Rock Cottage, has been lovingly restored and is known for its privacy and cosy feel. It is perfect for couples, families, and groups of friends.

Perennial & Rose Garden

Internationally renowned Australian horticulturalist Paul Bangay OAM designed this stunning formal garden and gazebo incorporating the tennis court to provide a showcase view from the Winmark Residence.

Karin’s Koppie

Owner Karin Adcock, who has fostered a lifelong love of trees, has given her name to this array of beautiful 40 deciduous trees planted in a neat system close to Winmark Residence to truly experience and appreciate the different seasons of these stunning trees.


Cellar Door

The original humble cellar door has been re-designed by renowned Danish architect Fong Chan Zeuthen, Karin’s Adcock’s sister. Its earthy, stylish, yet unpretentious character honours the history of the property and the beauty of the landscape. It is set to open around 2021 and become another Winmark landmark.

Our Team

Karin Adcock, owner

The Winmark Wines estate takes its personality from multi-award-winning businesswoman Karin Adcock. Karin has poured other lifelong loves, ranging from a passion for interiors to expertise in revitalising large properties, into the estate.

Karin is renowned for bringing PANDORA jewellery from her native Denmark to Australia. She started the business in her Northern Beaches garage and transformed it into the world’s most successful PANDORA entity. She achieved double per capita sales of the second most successful PANDORA country, Britain, and five times the sales of Denmark before selling it back to PANDORA.

Karin’s skill in “being the glue” that binds her talented team together helped her win the NSW Telstra Businesswoman of the Year award in 2010.

Karin spent a decade in her youth as a project manager, revitalising scores of large properties in Denmark and offshore, ranging from educational facilities to what was the world’s largest mango farm at the time.

She and partner John purchased the former Pooles Rock property, which had been neglected for five years, in 2016 to create a special place for family to gather and connect. The pair quickly applied their extensive collective experiences and talents to the project.

“We are dedicated to restoring Winmark, to creating a unique and beautiful place to explore, experience and unwind,”Karin said. “We are passionate about its history and feel a responsibility to provide an authentic restoration for future generations to share.

“I don’t skimp on the details and I want people’s visit to Winmark to be a unique experience that stays with them.”

John Winstanley, owner

John considers the restoration and reinvigoration of Winmark as a lifetime highlight.

John invested in his first vineyard in South Africa in his early 20s and has pursued a global passion for wine ever since. He moved to Australia in 1995 to become CEO of Rugby NSW where he worked with prominent wine figures, such as the late David Clarke, the Macquarie Bank founder and original owner of Pooles Rock.

John’s tenure as CEO of the Wine Society from 2005 to 2008 expanded his commercial understanding of the Australian wine landscape and fuelled his passion.

“The concept of what you have in your glass and everything that goes before that is a perfect blend of nature, commercialism, creativity and a result that stirs your senses,” says John.

John has 35 years of experience in board positions with national and global brands.

Liz Riley

Liz Riley, viticulturist

Liz Riley, Viticulturist of the Year 2017, has a prestigious list of credentials that began as a teenager and spans global territory.

Liz won the coveted Australian Nuffield Scholarship after completing a Bachelor of Wine Science and travelled to Europe and North America to focus on global agriculture and sustainable viticulture. She has also worked on vintages in the Naper Valley, California.

Liz and her local winemaker husband have lived and worked in the Hunter Valley since 1996.

“You get to know the vines over time,” she said. “You learn to work alongside Mother Nature. No two seasons are the same. I’m always learning and using my knowledge to make good decisions. Timing is everything.”

Liz and Vineyard Manager Dave Grosser have been entrusted to reinvigorate this iconic vineyard because of their reputations, passionate attention to detail and experience.


Dave Grosser, vineyard manager

Dave was born into a viticultural family in Broke to parents who worked collectively for three decades on the Winmark property when it was known as Pooles Rock.

Dave completed a Diploma of Viticulture in 1999 and worked with his father in vineyard development to learn about all facets of viticulture. He started his own consultancy in 2006.

“I love working outdoors in the vineyards,” he said. “The vines talk back to you and respond to how you treat them. They show you what mood they are in. Vineyards are a beautiful thing. They are a living environment that change day by day.”

Dave’s experience, best practice methods and attention to detail have earned him admiration from within the industry.

Early Days

Pooles Rock

The iconic rock, Pooles Rock, is named after destitute former convict Richard Poole who slept in a hollow inside the rock.


Block 4

The first 18 rows of block 4 are planted. They are said to be some of the oldest chardonnay vines in the Broke Fordwich district and are the famous Penfold’s clone.


Block 3

Block is 3 planted.


David Clarke

Macquarie Bank found Davide Clarke buys Pooles Rock and block 5 is planted.


Block 1 and 2

David Clarke plants Blocks 1 and 2 on Pooles Rock.


Block 4

The original semillion is replaced by chardonnay in Row 19 to 38.

Between 2001 and 2010


Pooles Rock wines are awarded more than 80 medals by the Hunter Valley Wines Show and the Australia National Vine show and several score 96 points by James Halliday.


Winmark Wines

John Winstanley and Karin Adcock purchase the Pooles Rock property and establish Winmark Wines. The vineyard enters a renewal phase with verdelho (block 5) removed ahead of redevelopment.

Growing the team

Award-winning Liz Riley is appointed Viticulturist and David Grosser of Vitigro becomes Vineyard Manager.


Block 5

The block is cleared and replanted with premium chardonnay clones ENTAV 548 and 95 Bernard.


Winmark Chardonnay 2018

Winmark Wines 2018 Chardonnay is bottled ready for release in late 2018.


The grounds are transformed by a perennial and rose garden designed by Paul Bangay. David Ball’s sculpture Biosis is installed alongside a tree park known as Karin’s Koppie.