How did you get the bug for wine?
I guess you could say I developed an interest in wine from quite a young age. Did the grand tour of Europe when I was 17 with my big bro and landed at home with a mega visa bill, so my dad said, “well you’d better get yourself a job and get that paid off!” Fortunately for me he was running a chain of independent supermarkets and wine shops at the time, so I wound up selling booze. It was captivated by how diverse and vast the world of wine was, even though I knew very little, The desire to learn more took me on a journey through wine retail, then wholesale and ultimately winemaking when I did my first vintage at Oakridge Wines in 2002. This solid grounding in all aspects of the industry was extremely beneficial in establishing Precipice Wines in 2012.
Are there any experiences/ lessons that really shaped your winemaking?
The experiences and lessons that I would say shape my winemaking come from the people of the industry. Working alongside some amazingly talented winemakers and cellar hands over 15 years has been incredible. If you keep your eyes and ears constantly open it’s amazing what you can learn. David Bicknell in particular has been extremely generous with his winemaking knowledge over the years.
What do you see as the future of your wines/vineyard?
Changes in the wind include adding 2 new wines to the range this vintage. Another single vineyard Chardy and a little Syrah Rose. I would dearly love to get my hands on some Gamay one year. A task proving to be quite difficult in the region but I’m determined not to give up!!
What is your favourite part of being in the Yarra Valley?
I don’t think I could single out one specific aspect I most love about the Yarra Valley. There are a number!! The geographical diversity from a grape growing perspective is amazing. We seem to do most varieties well. The beautiful landscapes that surround us. The ever evolving food and booze culture, great food, spirts, beer and of course wine!!! And the hard working and warm people of the region.
Favourite/Hidden Gem Yarra Valley Wine?
Not sure if they are hidden gems as such but a couple of wines that have struck a chord with me recently are the 2016 Fikkers Meunier and the 2017 Medhurst Rose. Both delicately handled wines with amazing structure and finesse.