Dutschke Wines News

30 Years On

I had just finished Vintage 1985 with Grant Burge at the old Krondorf winery here in the Barossa, when the phone rang. On the other end of the phone was winemaking consultant Tony Jordan, who I had worked with in my previous job at the Mid Murray Cooperative Winery in Swan Hill Victoria.

One of Tony’s clients was Arrowfield winery in the Upper Hunter Valley of NSW. He mentioned that they were looking for a winemaker and he had recommended me for the job. After a phone call and a meeting with the hierarchy at Arrowfield I packed my bags, loaded the car and was on my way.

The Upper Hunter is an interesting place. We know the Hunter Valley as a wine growing region, but in the Upper Hunter there seemed to be more activity under the ground than above, as coal mining was a big industry in this area. Most grape growing and winemaking was taking place in the Lower Hunter, but there were a couple of wineries in the north making a bit of noise back in the 80’s. These were Rosemount and Arrowfield wineries. One was actually making a fair bit more noise than the other – Rosemount.