We love talking about vines and will talk about wine to anyone even vaguely interested. Ask us to talk about ourselves however and things get a bit awkward. But given we wouldn’t trust a product that didn’t divulge something of its creators, here’s what we would want to know if we were you.
Neil studied viticulture and oenology in his early 20s at Stellenbosch University in his native South Africa. After a few years working in established wineries around the Cape – some heavy hitters, some ‘boutique’ – he set off to explore the big wide world of wine, honing his skills and more importantly his palate during vintages in the Southern Rhone, Cote Rôtie, Bordeaux, Alsace and New Zealand. As his 30s approached he smuggled his knew knowledge back to Stellenbosch where he was quite happy running a small vineyard and winery for a few years until the day Anna walked in for a tasting and stuffed everything up.
Anna had always been into wine and didn’t take much persuading to trade her corporate life and Sydney apartment for a romantic life among the vines. Together they ran for the hills of South Gippsland where the climate was right to grow all the things they pined for.
In 2014, having fallen for the region in general and the potential of its grapes in particular, they poured their joint worldly effects into a small property they thought might just have everything they needed to start creating their own little world. Great soil, seven acres of vines, a big old shed and lots of bedrooms to fill.
Three babies, eight thousand vines, a dozen sheep and a miniature schnauzer later, life on The Wine Farm is anything but romantic but very very real and Neil and Anna wouldn’t trade it for quids.