Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Musical chairs in Western Australia

Published:  23 July, 2008

All change for winemakers...

winemakers in Western Australia are on the move as the region establishes its own identity. Brian Fletcher, winemaker for Evans and Tate in Margaret River, has moved to Italy to assist BRL Hardy with D'Istinto wines. He has been replaced by Steve Warne, who was chief winemaker at De Bortoli's Griffith winery, which is now looking for a new winemaker. Voyager Estate winemaker Stuart Pym has moved to the Southcorp-owned Devils Lair, also in Margaret River. He replaces Janice McDonald, who will concentrate on making beer with her own, boutique production. Cliff Royle, previously deputy winemaker, is the new head winemaker at Voyager. In the Swan Valley, Peter Gambetta, previously group red winemaker at Orlando Wyndham, has replaced Bill Crappsley as chief winemaker at Sandalford. "Western Australia is a very beautiful, but quite remote part of the country," said Wines of Australia chief executive Hazel Murphy. "The winemakers have done their time and want new experiences. A lot of these makers have spent long stints at their respective wineries," she explained. Adam Palmer, marketing manager for Voyager's UK importer, Justerini & Brooks, said that there were big plans for expansion. "It has come from nothing and we really want to grow volumes," said Palmer. Evans and Tate and Sandalford wineries are also said to be expanding rapidly. Evans and Tate UK and Europe manager Mike Lewis said: "Young graduates are coming through from Roseworthy College, and we are seeing the industry maturing. Margaret River now has an identity which separates it from south-east Australia."