The Big Bold Barossa
Every wine region has a tale to tell. …
Introducing the first in a series of interviews with the skilled winemakers who make the magic happen at our Ultimate Wineries. Today we are catching up with Jeff Byrne, Chief Winemaker for Agnew Wines where he creates delicious Hunter Valley wines for Audrey Wilkinson, Cockfighter’s Ghost & Poole’s Rock.
How long have you worked here?
What made you want to become a winemaker?
I started in the wine industry by chance, fortunately working for the legendary Len Evans. I really enjoy the collaboration and culture of work in the wine industry and the all-encompassing roll of primary producer through to sales and marketing.
Which winemakers do you most look up to and why?
There are too many to count, both locally in the Hunter Valley and throughout the country but winemakers that run a tidy winery, consistently make great wine each year, who get involved in the vineyard and have fun doing it!
What, if anything, do you find stressful about your job?
The weather during the vintage period is without doubt the most stressful part of the job as well as worrying about each parcel ending up as you intend it to.
What wine are you proudest of?
I’m proud of all our wines but our portfolio of Hunter Valley Semillons are what I take the most pride in. They’re a very light, clean style of wine rarely duplicated anywhere else in the world and will reward those patient enough to cellar these wines for 10+ years.
What is your favourite wine and why? What do you drink it with?
I love to drink Pinot Noir, they can come from very different regions around the world and in many different forms with the best ones having layers of complexity. Pinot is great with lots of different dishes, but perfect with duck.
You can learn more about Jeff and Audrey Wilkinson by clicking here.