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My first winemaking experience was harvesting grapes in the Barossa Valley during vintage 1981. Long hot days were spent hand picking bunches of sweet, sticky Riesling, Shiraz, Cabernet, Grenache and a host of other nearly forgotten varieties. At the end of each day after the last bins were tipped into the crusher, we’d meet at the weighbridge with Peter Lehmann for a bottomless glass of robust Shiraz and an inspired conversation about the new wines and vintage developments.
After three decades my day still ends with a nice glass or two of Shiraz or maybe Chardonnay but a lot has changed over that time. From a humble cellar hand plunging skins in open concrete fermenters during the 1980’s, to debating the appropriate cooperage for Hunter Shiraz with Len Evans in the 1990’s to the corporate boardrooms of giant multinationals in the 2000’s, I’m now back to making wine as an independent negociant.
Based in the heart of McLaren Vale, I’m surrounded by wonderful old vineyards and dozens of modern wineries run by talented winemakers. The joy of being a negociant winemaker is the flexibility to be able to source grapes and make wine anywhere throughout Australia. The benefit is an unlimited resource of varieties, regions, styles and skills to craft individual batches of unique wines without constraints.
My goal is to create genuine, honest wines that showcase flavour, vitality and life. Good wine should be accessible to all and be enjoyed as part of a healthy, active lifestyle with fine food, close friends and plenty of fun. I have many favourites but I believe variety is the spice of life and I enjoy discovering new flavours and stretching the boundaries of traditional winemaking.
From an old favourite to something exotic, tantalizing and new, I hope you enjoy the journey through my selection of classic Australian wines.