Born in Newcastle, I grew up in and around the Hunter Valley and developed a real passion for rally car driving from a young age. I started driving a Toyota Corolla and ended up my career driving in the Australian Rally Championship. Driving is something that I’ve continued to do when the opportunity arises, but its taken a backseat to my wineries.
I became involved in the wine industry in 1997 as an export manager in the Hunter Valley, and worked my way up to owning a portfolio of brands – the highlight, of course, is Red Hill Estate.
I’m a sci-fi tragic (the more B-grade the better) and I’ll never turn down the opportunity to go out fishing.
2019 is our year for celebrating, its 30 years of Red Hill Estate. To kick off our new blog it only seems right to tell you a little more about myself and answer some of the questions that I’ve been asked in the Cellar Door lately.
What is the best thing about being involved in the wine industry?
The variety of each day – I could be meeting with distributors, hosting visitors to the Cellar Door or pressing berries at the winery. Not to mention the people that you meet and the wines that you get to enjoy.
In your eyes, what makes Red Hill Estate unique?
No doubt that we’ve got one of the best views of any winery in the world!
How involved do you get in the vineyard?
Very. I like to understand my products from the ground up. Each block has its own distinctive micro climate that gives each fruit batch distinction, and this impacts on what happens as each vintage goes into the bottle – and what you (and I) get to drink.
Do you have any varieties you prefer to work with?
Good grapes are the beginning and end to any great wine. Each varietal presents its own unique wine making challenges and I take great pride in making wines that I enjoy to drink.
What would you consider Red Hill Estate’s greatest achievement?
30 years on we’re not just “still here”, but we’re creating wines that people love to enjoy and constantly striving to improve our viticulture and winemaking processes.
What is your favourite wine and why? What do you eat with it?
I love to drink Pinot Noir, they can come from very different regions around the world and in many different forms. Our 2013 M&N Single Vineyard Pinot Noir is always a favourite around the dinner table at home, paired with a rack of lamb served rare with a plum and preserved lemon relish and some earthy Puy lentils. Sometimes in Autumn I’m lucky enough to forage some Saffron Milk Cap mushrooms from Red Hill too.