A wannabe chef, turned wine lover
Jeff dreamt of being a chef, but when the course was oversubscribed he thought he'd give winemaking a try and he never looked back.
He recalls the first words that his lecturer said: ‘Welcome to the world of wine’ , and his world changed. He now dreams of passing on his business to his children and grandchildren.
‘Being part of a vibrant industry full of clever, motivated & very funny people. I love the technical side of winegrowing from site selection, soil science, plant nutrition, soil water, pest & disease management and more latterly with precision/digital farming systems. BUT, and it's a big but, there's a lot of instinct too. ‘
Map of the Vineyard
I was originally going to be a chef but the chef's school was full so I did this wine course . . . The lecturer said "welcome to the world of wine" that was in 1985, my world changed. After training as a Sommelier I went into the wholesale & retail trade in Melbourne. There I met a few influential winemakers who encouraged me to do few vintages doing general Viti stuff, pruning, the odd bit of cellar handing etc but got serious when I went to Roseworthy. Studied Viticulture because that's where wine is made.
Being part of a vibrant industry full of clever, motivated & very funny people. I love the technical side of winegrowing from site selection, soil science, plant nutrition, soil water, pest & disease management and more latterly with precision/digital farming systems. BUT, and it's a big but, there's a lot of instinct too. Gut instinct told me this would work when I first clapped eyes on the limestone strewn paddock back in 1998. There were no grapes for 300Km so someone had to do it. It's been love/hate relationship ever since, but it has lasted longer than my first marriage so I guess that's a bonus.
Winegrowing is an art, a science and a challenge. The art is knowing what to do, the science is knowing how to do it. The challenge is being able to turn a profit in the process.
One of the most memorable moments in my career was when I was in a restaurant and got to taste my first ever commercial wine I've made.
The wine business is a capital hungry beast and sometimes we need extra cash to tide us over the lean times. The business is profitable just not every year. It's a generational thing, we are Kaitiaki of the land for our Grandchildren.
Archangels are our most interactive customers. They know our wines inside out and help us discover new wines for the site!