Accolade Wines has some of the most highly awarded winemakers at its helm who have excelled in their field for many decades.
Worldly experience, attention to detail, passion and commitment combine to ensure all our wines – from everyday drinking to the very best wines in the world – are treated with care and respect.
It is through our winemakers that we can bring you our exceptional portfolio of breadth and depth with styles for every occasion.
Helen was born in England and moved with her family to Australia in 1988. In 1997 she took a leap of faith and enrolled in a winemaking degree at the University of Adelaide. On completion of her degree she set about gaining invaluable experience with wineries such as Lindemans, Wynns, Seppelts and Penfolds.
In 2003 Helen moved to the Clare Valley to pursue her love of Riesling at Taylors Wines. However the call of the Barossa was too great, returning in 2011, working at Thorn-Clarke Wines and joining St Hallett as Senior Winemaker in 2019, before being promoted to the role of Director Global & ANZ Premium Winemaking in 2022.
Having been awarded The Gourmet Traveller Kemeny’s Medal for Young Winemaker of the Year in 2008 and was awarded People’s Choice Wine Society Young Winemaker of the year in both 2008 and 2018. Helen is also an experienced wine show judge and has participated in the Wine Industry Future Leaders program, as well as being a graduate of the esteemed Len Evans Tutorial.
Ed Carr is one of Australia’s most awarded sparkling winemakers with more than 44 years’ experience in the Australian wine industry – 35 of these have been dedicated to sparkling wine production. With unparalleled expertise, Ed has significantly lifted the reputation of Australian sparkling wine globally and holds the highest number of accolades at both domestic and international wine competitions.
In 2018, Ed was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships for his contribution to the development and success of the sparkling wine industry. Ed is the only non-champenois winemaker to have ever received this accolade.
Born in Gawler, on the edge of the Barossa Valley, Craig grew up with the wine industry around him. He started as a cellar hand with B Seppelt & Son in 1983, firstly at Chateau Tanunda and then later at Seppeltsfield. Craig joined Grant Burge Wines in 1993 as Cellar Manager and was soon promoted to assistant Winemaker in 1994, Winemaker in 1995 and Senior Winemaker in 1997.
His meteoric rise through the company can be attributed to his enormous talents, leadership, inquisitive mind, and his unrelenting passion for winemaking.
While he is passionate about the big full-bodied red wines for which the Barossa is famous, he also believes the region offers an opportunity for creative winemakers to make top quality elegant wines.
Viki has been at Berri Winery for over 27 years. From her first role within the laboratory, Viki quickly began pursuing an interest in winemaking and went on to work for three vintages and undertake formal studies in winemaking.
Upon finishing her degree in 2003, Viki worked as White Winemaker at Berri. In early 2015 she was appointed Brand Winemaker for the Hardys Core range which took her to the UK and Europe, and then in January 2016 she was promoted to Senior Winemaker where she headed up the team of twelve winemakers and assistant winemakers.
In July 2019 she was promoted to Group Commercial Winemaker, and now oversees the commercial wines across the Accolade Wines portfolio.
Director Global & ANZ Premium Winemaking
Group Sparkling Manager
Chief Winemaker House of Arras
Group Premium Winemaker
Chief Winemaker Grant Burge
Group Commercial Winemaker
Julian is a British winemaker with more than 30 years’ experience in the wine trade. He completed his WSET diploma in 1988 and realized that his future lay in wine production rather than retail, so decided to become a winemaker.
At that time (1994), the most forward thinking and technologically advanced winemaking was coming out of Australia, so he enrolled at the University of Adelaide. He graduated with a 1st class honours degree in winemaking in 1997 and received the Dux award as top of the year. He then went on to work in Australia, South Africa, Spain, France, Italy and Argentina, before finally settling in Chile in 2001, where he promised his employer a 2-year stay. 19 years later he is still in South America!
Julian has worked for Accolade since 2013 and in 2015 dedicated himself to the Chilean operation, where Anakena now forms an integral part of Accolade´s global strategy.
Born and bred in Hobart, Tasmania, a passion for food and wine has always been in Penny’s blood. After graduating as Dux of Oenology in 2004 at the University of Adelaide, Penny stayed on in the Adelaide Hills for nine and a half years to work her way through the ranks to Winemaker at Petaluma winery.
Penny returned to her home state of Tasmania in 2013 and is now focusing her passion for cool climate wines as winemaker for Bay of Fires.
Gerhard comes from a family of farmers in the Overberg region and a career in agriculture was a natural fit for him. He first joined us in 2007 to lead on bulk wine exports for our Kumala brand. With the acquisition of Flagstone Winery in February 2008, he itched to get his hands dirty in the cellar again, so he stepped into the vacancy of Winemaker and ever since contributed to the success of Flagstone Wines.
In 2014 Gerhard became the Head Winemaker of the South African portfolio, overseeing the quality of all the South African produced wines.
Making world-class Flagstone wines remains his true passion. Gerhard believes that making great wine needs total commitment and dedication and incredible attention to detail.
Travelling through wine regions on family vacations, combined with a keen sense of building a career with a difference, led Courtney to the decision in the latter years at secondary school that winemaking was for her.
She has worked with fruit sourced from all of the major viticultural regions of Western Australia, making wines from premium handpicked fruit.
Courtney has also been involved in wine show judging at the Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne Royal Wine Shows, and was a scholar at the prestigious Len Evans Tutorial in 2011.
Cleighten completed his Bachelor in Viticulture and Oenology at Lincoln University, before setting off to the northern hemisphere to work vintages in France (Chambolle-Musigny), Germany (Rheingau) and Cyprus.
Returning to his hometown of Marlborough, with world-class experience under his belt, Cleighten joined the Mud House team in 2012. After a decade of winemaking, Cleighten’s core focus remains unchanged, “to make the best wine possible!” He believes learning is the key, both experimentally and from others.
Cleighten’s spirit of adventure is built around fishing, diving, exploring the outdoors, playing the guitar, cricket and watching sport.
Bay of Fires
Houghton Wines & Brookland Valley
Andrew joined Accolade in 2011 as an Assistant White Winemaker at Berri Estates, where he was responsible for all white and rose fermentation. Upon completion of his B.A. of Agricultural Science “Oenology’ he was promoted to winemaker.
His operational excellence and winemaking prowess have seen him lead all white winemaking at Berri over the past couple of years, having recently also taken on the added responsibility of reds to his portfolio.
Andrew generates an immediate rapport and strong relationships with both consumers, trade and others in the industry, and he has been involved in many customer visits and tasting events over the years.