Dr John Kirk
Cambridge PhD, biochemist, physicist and life-long wine lover.
A visionary pioneer of the modern Canberra District wine industry.
A leading Australian scientist (that was his other job) who is a world authority on what light does in water and how it effects photosynthesis. Besides many other things, a maker of hand crafted musical instruments and the author of numerous books. John planted the first vines in the Canberra District in 1971.
He has successfully disengaged himself from the day to day running of the business now but can still be seen out pruning and monitoring the progress of his beloved vineyard.
Our Chief Winemaker and famous genius, extraordinarily talented super-duper wine legend with no official winemaking education, other than what his Dad taught him.
He was the Gourmet Traveller Winemaker of the Year in 2013, and has been nominated a few other times, so it seems he has a pretty good handle on the winemaking process.
However, for all the accolades he’s received, he’s just a down to earth guy. He loves his family (possibly a fraction more than wine!) and his guitar, and keeps a guitar in his office, which he’d much rather play than do the businessy-stuff of running a company.
When we hear it a-strumming, we know someone’s trying to get him to focus on admin. Sigh. Tim is also a part-time preacher, so if the Spirit moves him when he has a microphone in his hand, make yourselves comfortable folks.
We are privileged to work with a great team to bring you our beautiful wine
Chris hails from an Italian winemaking family, so caught the bug early. He’s worked at some very nice places around the traps (pick a few of the Estates listed on Langton’s Classification), so is most handy to have around the winery.
He worked Vintage 2019 with us, and proved himself to be excellently efficient so much so that we offered him the position of Winery Manager which he accepted.
Technically, Jeff is our Vineyard Foreman. Actually, he runs the place. He knows when every single grape is ready to be harvested, the condition of every single leaf, and has sometimes been found with a handful of earth in a vineyard, murmuring gently.
He grows, he harvests, he tractors, he forklifts, he bottles, he restocks, he brings us freshly butchered lamb/venison/offal/fish/gnu, freshly grown fruit and vegetables and is the keeper of our unofficial winery dog family. Jeff is all muscle – heart muscle, that is.
Brad is Jeff’s assistant and is our very own gentle giant. When we ask Brad to help us move a big heavy thing, he’ll generally pick the whole thing up, and just casually toss it to wherever you need. Okay, or you can just do it for me, Brad…….He also loves burning around on our mower – so our mowing gets done super-fast. When not toiling about the place in his hi-vis, Brad can sometimes be found in his black & white, serving food and drink at a posh joint.
David not only manages generally, but also looks after every single aspect of our wine sales, from the restaurant phoning their order through, to getting our wines safely into the shipping container, encompassing every one of our stockists from our Cellar Door to London to New York and his home country Canadia.
A talented photographer, he is also responsible for all the beautiful photographic imagery on our website and beyond – no wonder there have been two Gourmet Traveller Wine magazine covers so far. David is also a grandfather, and we’re all constantly bombarded with the cuteness of his grandchildren. They are exceptionally gorgeous, to be fair.
Annabelle is Tim’s Executive Assistant and Office Manager. Originally employed as Tim’s EA, that hasn’t made much difference so we now have her doing other stuff like putting packs of Blu-tack away and wiping blackboards (that’s the ‘office management’).
She does have a duty statement, but there are too many words on it for her to read, so we forgive her all her mistakes and only let her use plastic things. Annabelle thinks she is the Beauty Queen of Yass and is incredibly talented at everything she does, so if you ever meet her, be sure to let her down gently. She swears a lot – don’t startle her or look at her funny.
Cellar Door Manager
Rob is our Cellar Door Manager. He has come to us from years of serving beautiful wines in restaurants, and of course would much rather be here than anywhere else. He has also worked extensively in France (as you do), and has served Clonakilla wines to wealthy Europeans well before having started working here. There will be no obnoxious sales speak, just a good chat with a decent bloke about great wine.