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HATCH | Hatch in front of barrels

A new direction for Hatch

I’ve spent a lifetime in the bold pursuit of perfection, making wines that have won major global awards against the best of the best. 

Launching HATCH, I wanted to make elegant and sophisticated wines using the best regional varietal expressions of fruit. 

I’m enjoying the opportunity to build our small, family-run brand from the ground up. From making and blending the wine, to marketing, showcasing and selling the wines. 

It’s a chance to share my continuing passion and knowledge with a whole new audience.  

A love of science and tradition

Growing up in a strict Methodist family, wine was never on the menu. 

I first experimented with fermentation at 12. Sadly, instead of ginger beer, the result was an explosion, shattered glass and ruined meat. 

Despite this, my love of science continued and I headed to the University of Adelaide. After the first year, I took a break and found a job at the Australian Wine Research Institute. As I started helping wineries with their winemaking problems, I discovered a career that combined science and tradition. 

Returning to university, I completed my degree in Microbiology and Organic Chemistry before starting my career at Kaiser Stuhl. I moved to the Barossa and started my winemaking degree.

After almost 5 years at Kaiser Stuhl and 8 at Orlando, Wolf Blass convinced me to join him in 1987. This was the start of 35 years of winemaking in what became Treasury Wine Estates (TWE). In 1996, I became the Chief Winemaker, responsible for some of Australia’s most well-loved wines. These included Wolf Blass, Penfolds, Wynns, Coldstream Hills, Saltram, Pepperjack, Seppelt, Devils Lair, Rosemount, Lindeman’s and St Huberts. 

By 2011, I joined an extended team to grow and drive the global success of Wolf Blass. I became known around the world as the “face of Wolf Blass”.

HATCH | Hatch in the vineyards

Winemaking is in my DNA

Several years into my career, I was surprised to learn that my maternal great-grandfather, Alf Vesey was also a winemaker. He’d started work at Penfolds in 1883, where he stayed for 69 years. For almost 50 years, he was the Master Winemaker. During that time, he mentored his young assistant on the art of winemaking and blending. That young wine maker was Max Schubert, who would go on to make Penfolds Grange, arguably one of Australia’s best known wines.

HATCH | Watervale Riesling 2023

Launching HATCH

My retirement provided an exciting opportunity to launch HATCH.  

And my winemaking philosophy is simple.  

Make exceptional wines that respect the unique characters of the very best regions and varieties.  

Wines that show varietal purity, balance, elegance and finesse.  

Wines that are excellent when young and vibrant, but will reward with aging. 

Awards and recognition

Over the years, there’ve been many accolades while leading the Wolf Blass winemaking team. These are some of the awards that mean the most to me:

1999 Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy – 1998 Wolf Blass Black Label

IWSC (London) – International Winemaker of the Year – 1992, 2002, 2013

IWSC (London) – International Red Winemaker of the Year – 2020

IWC (London) – International Red Winemaker of the Year – 2008, 2013, 2016, 2021

Judging over 75 wine competitions in Australia, UK and USA was an amazing experience that has added to my skills:

Chairman of Judges Perth Royal Wine Show 2011, 2012

Panel Chair at all Australian mainland National Wine Shows

Panel Chair IWSC (London) – 2016, 2017, 2018

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