It goes without saying there’d be no project without people… and we’ve a brilliant assemblage of talent and personalities to draw upon daily to keep us moving forward.
This will always be a moving target as we set out to be an incubator, evolution even attrition is encouraged, as is lifelong friendships and ongoing collaborations. I’m in the chair and whilst I’d be the first to acknowledge that encouraging and embracing creativity on a daily basis is far from a stroll in the park, time is definitely in your corner and luckily for me I’m old enough to have racked up enough of it to pull this together.
Steve Grimley is writing this and being the humble guy I am I won't say much other than to quote my mate Twiggy during a counselling session of sparkling ale long necks 'well it's not as if you were ever Trevor from the ANZ bank . . .'
Matt Koch ‘brings a wealth of knowledge to McLaren Vale Winemakers’…
in his words. I was going to write that MK is the only one here older than me and then roll into something about my first memory of him being the lack of recollection I have for a night at the top pub when he well and truly stitched me up on his beloved Black Rats… An established A – Lister he’s won more Trophies than he can count during his 25 years making wine including 2 Bushing Kings and the purple gowns that come with them, a Jimmy Watson, and a finalist in the Gourmet Traveller Winemaker of the Year. He’s just kicked off his own label MJK with a Malbec and much to KP’s delight a Fiano... smashes a bowl of lollies like a 7 year old and not too many days pass without him bringing up his idea of a ‘high alc, sweet red for the US market’, which whilst we ignore him, no one doubts would make him uber successful if he chose to pursue it.
Lucas Armstrong is the newest member of our winemaking team, and after twelve Harvests at MVW, the first to roll out a man bun (although in fairness who’s to have known what ‘Hoops got up to). Driving to the ‘Vale daily from his pad behind the shop in his ex Military Land Rover looking like Jesus has come to take up the fight, he’s come our way via the Hunter and a fulltime Oenology degree which he’s rolled to part time to ‘learn a lot more working with such an experienced and diverse winemaking team (Steve, Matt, Sam, Kate, Jess)’… his words not mine and I assume he hasn’t ranked us by age. Front end of the curve in the lab also is Lucas.
I did a Harvest in Stellenbosch in 1997, quickly fell in love with the place and the people and, until I got beaten up by one, dreamt of marrying an Afrikaner girl. Fast track 20 years, the brilliant ray of sunshine that sits just down from me each day sent in her CV looking for ‘anything in the winery’, which I must have ignored until Jess popped in and asked if Jeremy’s wife had applied for a job, I said the South African chick? Yeah that’s her! I don’t know but get her in here pronto and as long as she doesn’t fire up we’ll find her a job. Firing up couldn’t be a more foreign character trait, the cheeriest member of our team, smells Brett in Cairo from Cape Town, loves a Sherry like few else and makes Biltong and Tea Rusks that can make you weep. Especially fond of Linen, a Jol and conversing re having kids, she walks a tightrope between the winery and moving around a mountain of wine for fuse with aplomb. A real good egg.
Luke BoddeyFurniture Maker
Luke Boddey has the best boobs we’ve ever seen… and now the best intro to his bio.
‘Guns’ is the quintessential right hand man, Zimmer broke him in for us, we just gave him good paddock and let him run… and a slight pay rise from $7.20 an hr. For a guy with god knows how many naked women on his arms he’s surprisingly handsome in a hipster sort of way, madly good with a welder and with skin as thick as a komodo he’s our resident go to man. If he had a $ for every time I’ve said ‘got a 10 minute job for you guns’ he’d be on a boat in the Bahamas by now, although knowing him he’d still turn up on the weekend to tinker away on whatever’s on the go in the workshop. Still not convinced he likes getting up in the morning, but either way you’d never know.