At the age of 19, I was the recipient of a trainee Winemaker and Viticultural scholarship at Riverina College of Advanced Education.
I trained under Andrew Birks, Andrew Hood and Max Loder (guru German Viticulturist), and worked in many grape growing areas, including Coonawarra and Cowra and throughout the Riverina.
Next followed a stint at Brown Brothers working under Rick Kinzbrunner (Giaconda) and then to the Yarra Valley working for various labels including Fergusson, also Cuthbertsons Murrindindi, and St Huberts under Brian Fletcher.
During this period I went to work in Sonoma California for Dave Stare at Dry Creek and in South West France mainly in Bordeaux region at Chateau Giscours and three or four other small establishments.
In 1984 I started working for myself in the viticultural consultancy business. This entailed setting up vineyards and overseeing their day to day management. Over the years this has given me the opportunity to source some very good grapes for wines made under my label.
In 1989 I started making wine under the Jinks Creek label and have continued to do so.
Currently I oversee some 10 vineyards ranging in size from 1 acre up to 50 acres.
I love the challenge of producing the best fruit possible in any given year and still have clientele from when I began this work in 1984.
The first acre of Jinks Creek vineyard was planted in 1979, consisting of equal portions of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Sauvignon Blanc was planted in the early '90's and has performed well. Now over 8 acres but currently expanding.
Not noted as a viticulture region and still fairly obscure, the vineyard has produced strong varietal and mineral characters, especially in the whites. My growing philosophy is minimal. The soil gets little of no fertilizer and the spraying of the vines is kept as close as possible to organic using basics like sulphur and copper.
Irrigation is kept to an absolute minimum except in unusually dry years. My winemaking philosophy is the same, with minimal inputs, lots of solids, some wild ferments, no filtration (except for Sav Blanc) and minimal use of SO2. I like to think that the vineyard is as close to its "Terroir" as possible and that the wines reflect that approach.
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