When did you realise you wanted tobecome a winemaker?
It was when I was working at a small Domaine in Burgundy. I loved everything there; the wines, the vineyards, the people – but perhaps most of all, the village life.
Please tell us about your career so far.
I’ve been around winemaking since I could walk; working alongside my father in the winery from a young age. I went away and did other things, but came back to winemaking upon realising that it was for me. While I learnt from my father, I also completed a master’s degree in wine technology and viticulture.
What do you love most about being a winemaker?
I love the fact that no two days are the same, and no season is the same. [As a winemaker] you are constantly learning and evolving your practices.
What is your favourite wine, and what food do you typically pair it with?
[That’s like saying] what’s your favourite
child!? I don’t have a favourite, as it depends on the seasons and what I feel like. At the minute I am loving our estate pinot noir, and pairing it with, perhaps, seafood laksa
Is there a specific process you follow when developing a new wine?
Not particularly, as each wine is individual and should be individually created.
Is there any vintage you’re particularly proud of creating? Why?
The 2008 was probably what I am most proud of. It was my first year as head winemaker, after only a couple of years of full-time experience in wineries. Looking back on it, I am amazed I pulled it off!
How does the local climate/soil affect the wine you make?
The climate and soil is the single biggest input [regarding the wine we make]. These conditions are what needs to be considered above nearly all else.
Which of your own varieties do you typically indulge in?
Pinot noir, shiraz and cabernet!
Where do you see yourself in five years? How do you think your winemaking will evolve during this time?
Our main focus is on regenerative agriculture; we have been practicing and evolving this methodology for four years now, and the results have been amazing. While in principle, regenerative agriculture is about storing carbons in soils (via increasing humus), we have seen increases in yields and quality, and the microbiology of the farm is abundant. The results have really been incredible – there’s so many moments, but one example is the fact that [prior to this] I had not seen a worm ever on this property. After three years of following these principles, one morning I was out for a walk and there was a misty rain about. I came out of my house and all over the roads there were hundreds of worms – what a moment!
From Wineries of Victoria – Issue 12, edited by Bethany Hayes.