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 rediscovered the property and purchased it in 2016 and re-established the vineyard. The 130acre property has been fully renovated with an artful eye, transforming it into one of the area’s premier destinations that consistently holds top guest rankings across the Hunter Valley. Each of the guesthouses showcases their own unique character and hold furnishings and artworks sourced from around the globe, and all make the most of the breathtaking mountain and vineyard views.


“When I purchased the property, the Pooles Rock name was not part of the sale. So I named the property Winmark Wines, which in my native Danish tongue means Fields of Vines. I am so proud to now call this property my home, and I love welcoming guests to our Cellar Door to taste our beautiful Chardonnay”. Karin Adcock


Winmark Wines continues its remarkable revival with a team of highly skilled and passionate wine experts ensuring the road from the vines to the glass is optimised. The wine team is a genuine collaboration of experts which includes vineyard manager Dave Grosser from VitiGro, award-winning viticulturist Liz Riley from Vitibit, and international consultant and winemaker John Belsham.


The conversion of the former Pooles Rock storage sheds into a beautifully designed Cellar Door ensures the history of the property is cherished – nestled into the sandstone surrounds and overlooking the 28 acre vineyard it is a perfect destination to enjoy tasting premium Chardonnay, whilst taking in spectacular views.


“The property gives me an immense sense of peace,” Karin said. “I love being here 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 gives 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 grounds are a wonderland of their own; sculptures, overflowing rose garden, dams and natural landmarks of historical significance dot the landscape. Set against the beauty of Yellow Rock state forest, this is a place to completely unwind and truly connect with nature. Winmark is a place of remarkable beauty and unexpected discovery.






The Vineyard

The 28 acres of vines have been carefully nurtured back to full health after a five-year period of neglect. Two talented professionals, 2017 Viticulturist of the Year Liz Riley, and Vineyard Manager Dave Grosser have made this their professional mission.

About 10 acres of verdelho in poor health was replaced by a new chardonnay clone from Burgundy in September 2017. Its first vintage was produced in January 2019 with Rusty’s Run and the Single Vineyard Reserve Chardonnay.


Money and energy were not spared to refurbish, revitalise and – where necessary remove and replace other blocks. 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.

Front Entrance

Renowned landscape architect Paul Bangay utilised wisteria and lavender to redesign the front entrance. The Danish and Australian flags welcome guests and celebrate the beautiful balance of the touch of Karin’s Danish nationality in her new Australian home, seen in the collections of her artworks and artefacts, and her love of beautiful spaces.

Private Residence

Winmark Private Residence is at the heart of this impressive estate. Karin has placed artefacts, antiques and artwork from her travels around the world throughout this elegant home.

Rock View

The former Rock Cottage (now Rock View) has been lovingly restored and, perched above Pooles Rock, enjoys some of the most tranquil vistas at Winmark. With front row seats to the frequent visits from native kangaroos on the full length verandah, this spacious and beautifully refurbished retreat is perfect for a carefree weekend away with friends or family.

Mio Monte

Purchased from neighbours in 2019, Mio Monte was immediately a wonderful inclusion for Winmark. With bold architectural lines and glass wrapped living space, Karin was able to quickly offer the seven bedroom retreat to guests. With her beautiful styling of the property, and the inclusion of the first Art Gallery to the property, it has been popular for larger groups.

Villa Vino

The newest addition arrived to Winmark in August of 2020. Karin recognised the opportunity to provide the divine Villa Vino to individuals or couples seeking to enjoy the tranquillity, privacy and intimacy of this tiny property with spectacular views.

The Tennis Court, Perennial and Rose Garden

The tennis court next to the main residence was mostly in the shadow of spreading casuarinas. It was re-surfaced and re-fenced and internationally renowned Australian horticulturalist Paul Bangay OAM incorporated it into his stunning formal garden and gazebo area, which provides a showcase view from Winmark Private Residence.

Karin’s Koppie

Karin, who has fostered a lifelong love of trees, has given her name to this array of 40 beautiful deciduous trees planted in a neat system close to Winmark Private Residence. Karin’s intention in creating this haven was to enable guests to truly experience and appreciate the different seasons of these stunning trees.

Firepit at Main Dam

The property has three dams, and this stunning fire pit entertaining area on the banks of the main dam has been created so guests can enjoy the spectacular sunsets in style.

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 is “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 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.

“I am dedicated to restoring Winmark, to creating a unique and beautiful place to explore, experience and unwind,” Karin said. “I am 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 Belsham, winemaker & consultant

Winemaker and consultant John Belsham has been engaged to lend his 35 years of Chardonnay winemaking expertise to Winmark Wines. Chardonnay is without a doubt one of his favourite varietals with which to work and was the first wine he made at his own New Zealand wine company, Foxes Island, in 1992.


It’s been said If ever a film were made about New Zealand wine, John Belsham would be the leading man. He cut his winemaking teeth in Bordeaux, France before becoming one of New Zealand’s most highly-regarded winemakers.


Fluent in French and English, John was one of the original ‘Flying Winemakers’ in the early 1990’s when the term was first coined by U.K. retailer Tony Laithwaite.  Today John continues to work on winemaking projects globally; from technical winemaking expertise to winery design and business strategy.  His 40 years of international wine industry experience and knowledgeable approach has shaped and guided some of the most successful wine companies today.


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.


Winmark Wines Estate offers many interesting landmarks that emphasise the unique experience ahead when visiting. 



Pooles Rock

Perennial and Rose Garden by Paul Bangay

One of Australia’s most celebrated landscape architects, Paul Bangay OAM, used a myriad of delicate colours and varieties to design this stunning garden. Hedges and topiary border lavender, roses and Russian sage.


Guests of Winmark Private Residence can step back in time to view the garden in the shadow of the pavilion while watching a game of tennis or enjoying afternoon tea or a glass of wine.


“I love nothing more than creating country gardens,” Paul said. “They have a great sense of scale and freedom that just can’t be found in city spaces.


“Winmark Wines has allowed me to express my creativity with this sense of scale and freedom and this has lead to the creation of a large perennial and rose garden, swimming pool and tennis court. All these gardens are full of flowering perennials and roses and help create the feeling of paradise in the Australian landscape.”

BIOSIS BY David Ball

David Ball created Biosis for the Winmark landscape. His sculpture is bound to earth yet reaches towards heaven in representation of our highest dreams. Winmark is the three-year realisation of a grand dream that has been imagined, hand-crafted and assembled by its owners.


Biosis works both from and with the landscape,” David said. “It’s broad, it reaches out and sits in this big, beautiful valley surrounded by sandstone and cliffs that are themselves like sculpture.


“Wine and sculpture both age well. You can enjoy them on a sunny afternoon and they provide sustenance for the soul.


“Any time you mix good wine, sculpture and landscape it’s perfect. This 1.5 tonne sculpture will help extend Winmark’s cultural presence.”


David won the 2017 Bondi Sculpture by the Sea major prize with a sculpture that was part of a series and the first iteration of Biosis.


Tree lover and owner Karin Adcock has lent her name to this formal stand of 40 deciduous trees that sit on the sloping hill in front of the Yellow Rock escarpment.


“Deciduous trees remind us of the changing seasons, as trees are forever changing their delicate flowers and colours. This appreciation of the seasons is often overlooked but is reinforced here,” Karin said.

“I wish for my daughters to experience firsthand how beautiful different deciduous trees can be.”


The firepit has been landscaped into the foreshore of the main dam, beside the large pump house and viewing platform. This recreational area, complete with lighting and its own barbeque and fridge, capitalises on a natural vantage point for watching the sunset, enjoying a sundowner and for staying warm at day’s end.

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 founder David 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 National Wine Show of Australia and several wines score 96 points by James Halliday.


Winmark Wines

Karin Adcock purchases the Pooles Rock property and establishes 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.


Rusty’s Run

Rusty’s Run 2019 Chardonnay is released.


John Belsham

John Belsham, International Winemaker & Consultant John Belsham is appointed to consult for Winmark.


Single Vineyard Reserve

Winmark Single Vineyard Reserve 2019 is released.


Cellar Door

Cellar door is opening in the old Pooles Rock storage shed.