Adam grew up surrounded by vines and wineries against the stunning backdrop of the Grampians’ majestic mountain peaks. It was a part-time job while still at school at the local award-winning winery, Bests of Great Western, that ignited his love affair with creating fine wine.
Adam joined forces with one of Australia’s most visionary winemakers Trevor Mast at Mount Langi Ghiran in 1998. This partnership was one of master and apprentice. Trevor shared his extensive knowledge, passion and innovative ideas as Adam actively absorbed every word, phrase and action.
Thirsty for more knowledge and experience, Adam – aged just 20 – travelled to the Napa Valley to work at Chimney Rock where he learnt to manage and lead a team through harvest.
The next stop on Adam’s winemaking journey was the home of fine wine – Bordeaux as a winemaker for Chateau Carsin from 2005 to 2008. In France, Adam made wine by day and regularly enjoyed 5-12 course meals with matched wines by Michelin Star chefs by night. This experience ignited his love affair of food and wine. It was in Bordeaux that Adam learnt to enjoy wine, “It’s a better experience if you share wine with friends and food,”.
Complimenting his time in Bordeaux, Adam worked as a winemaker in Western Australia’s Margaret River, at Xanadu and Pierro.
His dedication to fine winemaking was rewarded in 2011 when he was approached by one of Napa Valley’s most prestigious cult wineries Araujo Estate (acquired by Chateau Latour in 2013). During Adam’s time as harvest winemaker (2011 – 2014) Wine Spectator magazine rated the Araujo Estate flagship Cabernet Sauvignon as one of the most collectable wines in the world.
At 39, Adam has completed 34 harvests in regions including the Grampians, Pyrenees, Margaret River, Bordeaux and Napa Valley.
[Image courtesy of Wine Australia]
Everything other than winemaker
Nancy grew up on the Gold Coast and is a water baby. She studied Journalism at the University of Queensland before embarking on a global communications career that included stints as a snow reporter in Thredbo, publicist for Conan O’Brien in Toronto, Canada, and a wanna-be producer in Los Angeles, USA.
Before falling in love with a winemaker, Nancy lived a fast-paced global life working on the Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup and Super Bowl and throwing regular parties in her Nob Hill abode in San Francisco.
These days Nancy relishes a slower pace of life (their toddler Toby and newborn Charlie have other ideas) and has embraced the country Victorian lifestyle.
Nancy is always looking for fun ideas to share, events to attend and recipes to make for family and friends.
Adam returned to the granite soil of his childhood after working in the world’s greatest wine regions. “Our warm days and cool nights means the grapes have a long growing season which adds to the complexity of the wine that can be created,” he says. “That’s why the Grampians is where I want to make wine.”
He’s the latest in a long line of winemakers to worship the fruit this area’s spectacular cool climate produces. Grapes have been grown in the foothills and valleys of the Grampians’ 360-million-year old mountain ranges since 1867, making it one of Australia’s oldest wine regions.
Growing season rainfall: 240mm
To the north-east of the Grampians wine growing region is the Pyrenees mountain range where our friends the John family have their Malakoff Estate vineyard. Adam sources Nebbiolo grapes for SubRosa, which grow surrounded by the Estate’s eucalyptus trees.
The Pyrenees wine region is renowned for high quality red wines.
Growing season rainfall: 220mm