Winemaker

A Winemaking Journey

An experienced Winemaker, Simon’s career has spanned over 40 years in Australia’s leading wine companies including Chief Winemaker at Yalumba Wine Company and Dorrien Estate (Cellarmaster Wines) as well as many vintages overseas including Alsace (France), St Emillion (France), Napa Valley (USA) and New Zealand.

His viticultural and winemaking philosophy is based on the belief that great wines are made in the vineyard. He places enormous emphasis on careful tending of vines with minimal intervention ensuring that he has access to the highest quality fruit.

Wines are personally crafted to reflect the European style which allows the wine’s character to shine through, optimising fruit and enhancing longevity.

Testament to his winemaking skills, Simon has amassed more than 65 trophies and 350 gold medals during his career, including twice winning Best Vintage Red at the International Wine and Spirit Challenge in London, the Stoddard Trophy at Brisbane and the “Triple Crown” at the National Wine Show in Canberra including Best Wine of Show.

The Winemaking Process

WEATHERED OAK

Our approach to the judicious use of oak as part of our winemaking process goes back to a time when I was Senior Winemaker for a large local family owned winery.

The average time for oak to be aired is usually 2-3 years, and back then I experimented with various spells, including 8 years. At Sorby Adams Barossa, I use 5 years as my weathering phase.

Air drying oak lightens the tannins imparted into the wine, leaching out the harshness before coopering. Turned every 6 months, the 28 inch oak is hand crafted by Andrew Stiller from neighbouring Bethany.  

Only 3km from us, Andrew has a wealth of information on how the treatment of oak before coopering is as important as the coopers craft, and winemakers use of that oak, for the architecture weathered oak brings to the finished wine.

With our newly completed winery barrel shed, we will now air dry our oak personally with Andrews help. From vintage 2023, wines like The Thing and The Reverend Canon will shine even brighter.