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Signatories

 

Since 1962, 'The Signature' accolade has been bestowed on the best of vintage traditional Australian Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz blend. This special wine is then named to honour an employee or person who has made a significant contribution to the tradition of Yalumba. Over the years 'The Signature' has honoured long serving employees of Yalumba, Hill Smith family members and friends of the business.

Note: There has not been a release of Yalumba The Signature every year. Vintage years 1965, 1969, 1972, 1979, 1980, 1982, 2007 and 2011 did not produce fruit of sufficient quality to meet the exceptional standards for which The Signature is renowned.



List of Signatories





Vintage


Signatory


Biography

1962 SAMUEL SMITH The founder of Yalumba. Samuel, an Englishman, arrived in South Australia in 1847 on the clipper, China, at the Port of Adelaide. He traveled to the Barossa Valley with his wife Mary and their children and was employed by George Fife Angas as a gardener. In addition to gardening, Samuel undertook the role of caretaker of the orchards and vines that grew on the estate. With a knowledge of fermentation, from his past, as a brewer, a good climate for grape growing and the burgeoning demand for wine in South Australia, Samuel purchased 30 acres of land from Angas and planted 14 acres of vines in 1849. He named his farm Yalumba meaning 'all the land around'. Samuel died in 1889, aged 76 years.

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1963 SIDNEY SMITH Samuels son, Sidney, took over management of Yalumba on Samuels death in 1889. Sidney commissioned the construction of the Yalumba you see today, over the site of the thatched roof winery built in 1851. He died in 1908, two years before the building was completed with installation of the clock.

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1964 OLIVER JENKINSON Oliver Jenkinson who was the head cellarman at Yalumba's Angaston cellars for over 30 years.

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1964 PERCY SMITH Son of Sidney and brother of Walter "Tiger" Smith. Percy was in charge of winemaking and production at Yalumba until his retirement in 1923.

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1966 HAROLD OBST Harold "Pots" Obst filled and despatched casks in excess of fifteen million gallons over his 50 year career with Yalumba. He joined the company on the 14th September 1923 at the age of 15, and eventually became Head Cellarmaster.

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1966 HAROLD YATES Harold Yates was secretary at Yalumba for 45 years. Commenced in 1893, retired in 1949.

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1966 ALFRED WARK Alfred Wark was the secretary of Yalumba for 25 years. "Alf" was on the Foundation Committees of the Barossa Valley Vintage Festival Association, The Wine Service Guild and the Barossa Valley Bacchus Club and spent many years on other committees in South Australia which supported horse racing, fly fishing and other sports. "Cooking with Wine" was one of his great loves - and later became the title of one of his cooking books.

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1967 CLAIR CHINNER Commenced at Yalumba in 1924, retired in 1977. An accountant, but also overseer of the label department for 50 years.

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1967 RUDI KRONBERGER Joined Yalumba as winemaker in 1928. Austrian by birth and training, Rudi introduced the Moeslinger finishing process for white wines to Australia. A winemaker at Yalumba for 45 years, the last 10 as the chief winemaker.

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1968 ERIC McKENZIE Company secretary for Yalumba in Western Australia for 28 years.

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1968 MICK HUNGERFORD Manager for Yalumba in Western Australia for 28 years from 1946 to 1974. Commenced and retired in the same years as his great friend and co-signatory, Eric McKenzie.

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1970 LES FALKENBERG Head cellarman for over 50 years at Yalumba's Angaston Cellars. Retired in 1981.

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1970 PADDY FITZGERALD Director and General Manager of Castlemaine Perkins Limited, Brisbane, who bottled and distributed Yalumba wines for over half a century.

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1971 ALF MADER Commenced at Yalumba, Angaston in 1894. Retired 50 years later, in 1944, as the Winery Foreman.

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1971 BRUCE COULTER Bruce Coulter was Managing Director of Stephen King (now John Cawsey & Co. (Vic) Pty Ltd) the Victorian distributors of Yalumba for over 40 years. He was also past President of the Viticultural Society of Victoria.

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1973 WYNDHAM HILL SMITH Wyndham was born in 1909, son of Walter "Tiger" Smith and brother of Sidney and Donald. A winemaker at heart, he spent his career in Marketing and Sales, commencing as the Manager of the West Australian branch in 1928. Wyndham was recalled to Yalumba, Angaston in 1938 as Managing Director on the premature death of brother, Sidney. His flair for painting also extended to label design. A competent sportsman, Wyndham had a consuming passion for horse racing and hospitality, vocations that touched not only the people of Yalumba but people from all walks of life.

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1974 CHRISTOBEL HILL SMITH Christobel was the wife of Sid Hill Smith. Her vitality has long been an ingredient of the winery’s hospitality, where for 60 years she was a great hostess for Yalumba. She maintained an active interest in the stage, particularly ballet. Her other interests have been travel and people.

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1975 WALTER SMITH Managing Director from 1908 to 1937, "Tiger" Smith was colourful, flamboyant and popular. A big game hunter, his world travels also enabled him to establish agencies and distribute Yalumba wines on an international scale.

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1976 RON SKATE Ron Skate is a fine Australian artist. This artistic ability was displayed over the 30 years that he was associated with Yalumba as the principal of their advertising agency. A close association was formed between Wyndham Hill Smith and Ron during this time. Sharing a passion for oil painting, the pair spent many happy hours transferring the diverse South Australian landscape to canvas.

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1976 SIDNEY HILL SMITH Sid Hill Smith was the husband of Christobel and father of Mark and John. Under Sid’s expert guidance, Yalumba survived the Great Depression of the 1930's. Embroiled in the politics and policies of the Wine Industry, Sid was tragically killed in the "Kyeema" air crash in 1938, on his way to Canberra, with Tom Hardy and Hugo Gramp.

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1977 HARRY MAHLO Harry Mahlo began his career at the company's Yalumba Winery in Angaston in 1947 after serving his apprenticeship as a cooper. His skill and dedication to his craft has made a significant contribution to the quality of S. Smith & Son's wines.

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1978 COLIN HAYES Colin Hayes is one of Australia's greatest racehorse trainers and studmasters. His close association with Yalumba has extended over 30 years with him training over 250 winners for Wyndham Hill Smith. In 1965, Colin formed a syndicate including Wyndham's family, to purchase "Lindsay Park" from Sir Keith Angas. Lindsay Park is of special significance to Yalumba as it was there that our founder, Samuel Smith worked as a gardener which enabled him to buy a small holding from George Fife Angas to establish Yalumba in 1849.

Today, Lindsay Park Stud ranks as one if the finest breeding and training establishments in the world. As "next door" neighbours, Yalumba and Lindsay Park Stud have shared many visitors such as the Duke of Edinburgh on the Royal visit in 1974, as well as many prominent people from all walks of life, including 21 Australian and International visiting cricket teams.

Colin Hayes and his wife are great hosts and have always served Yalumba Wines to their visitors. We find it a great pleasure to name this Signature Claret after Colin.

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1981 JOE STEVENS This wine is named after Joe Stevens for his close association with Yalumba over 30 years. In 1954 Joe was appointed State Manager for S. Smith & Son (SA). The financial success of the branch and the valuable agency lines he acquired assisted greatly in funding the development of the company vineyards and cellars at Angaston. During his career, he became a close personal of the Hill Smith family and was appointed to the Board in 1966.

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1983 ROSS BRADBURY This wine was named after Ross Bradbury for his close association with Yalumba for 37 years. In 1952, Ross joined our Perth sales team and after 9 years was transferred to Queensland as State Manager. West Australia wooed Ross back as State Manager in 1974, and he held this position until his retirement in 1989.

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1984 JOHN GILLESPIE This wine is named after John Gillespie, who joined us in 1954 as a traveller and later became promotions manager for S. Smith & Son. He retired in 1981 after 27 years of service to the company.

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1985 DENNIS REIMANN This wine bears the signature of Dennis Reimann, who worked at Angaston for 32 years before retiring in 1988. A close confidante and friend of the Hill Smith family throughout the years, his contribution to Yalumba over three decades as Company Secretary, General Manager and Company Director was invaluable.

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1986 HELEN HILL SMITH Wyndham's wife and mother of Robert and Sam. A tireless worker in the community and unstinting in her interest in the people of Yalumba and guests of Yalumba. Helen has been hostess to many visiting dignatories from overseas and within Australia.

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1987 DUDLEY WARD Dudley Ward held the position of Vineyard Manager at Yalumba's Oxford Landing Estate from 1960 through to 1986. During these years, Dudley hosted many groups of visitors at the Estate’s picnic ground on the Murray river banks.

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1988 COLIN GERHARDY Colin Gerhardy joined Yalumba in 1948 and is currently bottling supervisor at the Yalumba Winery, Angaston. Except for national service in the Australian Air Force in 1952, he keeps a watchful eye over the bottling line today, 44 years after commencing with Yalumba.

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1989 GRAEME McDONOUGH Graeme McDonough, affectionately known as "Macca", has made a significant contribution to life at Yalumba during the past years. "Macca" worked for our advertising agency, The Campaign Palace, where he handled the Yalumba account from 1986 through to 1992, and even in retirement he retains an active role with our company.

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1990 PETER WALL 'The Signature' 1990 is named in honour of Peter John Wall, Wine and Vineyard Director. Like the wine inside this bottle, Peter is complex, amusing, urbane and erudite character who will improve gracefully with age. In 1964 he graduated from Roseworthy College and joined Yalumba as assistant winemaker. It was during this time that the exciting modern Australian wine industry was emerging. Peter Wall's contribution to the standards of quality and consistency and innovative viticultural and winemaking philosophies, are legend. A man who is fiercely committed to making the Australian wine industry better, Peter still finds time to share his skills and insights with all those who seek to be better at their chosen craft. He has been a driving force behind the quality vineyards that are the backbone of Yalumba today.

Peter commutes between Angaston and Adelaide where he lives with Judith and daughters Eloise and Cressida. He enjoys skiing, opera and bungee jumping, and as an Italophile, he is a genius in the kitchen.

Peter’s one disappointment with life is that there is only 24 hours in each day. Peter Wall is a great character who enjoys life and living - we are proud that his name and reputation grace this label.

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1991 MARK HILL SMITH Mark was born at Yalumba and worked in all facets of the wine business prior to becoming Managing Director in 1972 to 1985. Mark entered Roseworthy College in 1940 to commence an Oenology degree. World War II disrupted his studies and he joined the Royal Australian Navy as an Able Seaman at the age of 17.

Returning to Yalumba, he worked in the cellar under Rudi Kronberger. He married Margie Fisher in 1950. They have two sons, Michael and Matthew, both of whom are active in Epicurean pursuits.

Margie and Mark were renowned hosts. Their hospitality ensured Yalumba a reputation for grace and charm throughout the world. Mark is also credited with introducing Len Evans to the wine industry in 1957. As Managing Director and later Chairman, he presided over considerable changes at Yalumba - notably new vineyard plantings, major technological advances in the cellar and greater focus on export marekts.

His great loves are fishing, sailing and following the vried enterprises of his family. Now retired and living in Adelaide, Mark can look back with satisfaction on his contribution to the traditions of Yalumba.

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1992 EDDIE WAECHTER "The Signature" 1992 honours a man of the land, Allfa Edwin "Eddy" Waechter who has been supplying Yalumba with superb grapes for over 50 years. Eddy was born in the Barossa Valley on the 4th May, 1920, the only son of Christian Alfred and Augustina Wilhelmina Waechter. He was raised, with four sisters, on a small farm at Light Pass, where he still lives today, with his wife Rita.

After a brief scholastic career at Light Pass Public School, Eddy realised his dream of becoming a farmer "like my Dad", at the tender age of 14. Except for the odd day of fishing on the Murray River, Eddy has toiled for a lifetime on his beloved block; cropping, tending livestock, vineyards, fruit trees and vegetables. His has been a hard physical life but he is as resolute as the gnarled, old Shiraz vines in the 1913 vineyard, "they are over 80 years old, the termites have eaten the inside out but the old buggers bear like buggery".

After a days picking, Eddy still enjoys driving from Light Pass to Yalumba in his 1954 Chevrolet truck to oversee the crushing of his grapes. He always takes time for a chat and a schluck before heading home for tea. We are delighted to honour this hard-working and humorous Barossa Valley man for a life-time of service to Yalumba.

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1993 BILL WILKSCH The 1993 vintage honours Bill Wilksch, Manager of the Yalumba Oxford Landing Estate Vineyard at Qualco, on the banks of the Murray River. "I left school in Waikerie prematurely and had to decide between working for Dad on his block at Cadell, entering service with the Post Master General or striking out on my own. I chose the latter and started grape picking and vineyard duties with Yalumba on the 27th April, 1965. 30 odd years down the track, I've been rewarded with a great family and a great job, and I’m still living on the Murray in South Australia. I’m rapt in the way things have turned out!"

Thick set and powerfully built, Bill resembles an Australian Rules rover who has wagged training for several seasons. Despite his rough, tanned exterior, an astute, sensitive and humorous man lurks within. A hands on management style leaves little time for leisure but Bill is a keen angler, yabby trapper and one of South Australia's top sporting clay shooters. We are delighted to add Bill Wilksch to the list of Yalumba signatories.

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1994 PETER GRAUE The notion that wine is a mystical union of grapes and a winemaker is misguided. Wine is the sum of plenteous talent; grapegrowers, coopers, cellarhands, winemakers and electricians..... It’s difficult to believe that Peter "Henry" Graue has been working at Yalumba for 32 years. He's a youthful looking, personable bloke, with sparkling eyes and a quick, friendly smile. Despite his boyish visage, Henry joined our Services Department as an apprentice electrician on the 6th December, 1965, immediately after leaving school. It is a testament to his work ethic and determination that today as the Services Manager of Yalumba, he still skilfully solves the myriad problems and challenges posed by an industry that demands innovation and ingenuity. Henry is married to Colleen and lives in Tanunda. An outdoors type, he enjoys golf which he calls "bushwalking", swimming, riding his triathlon bike and hurtling around the Barossa on his beloved red Ducati motorcycle.

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1995 ALL EMPLOYEES "When my great, great grandfather, Samuel, established Yalumba, he could not have imagined that his fledgling enterprise of 14 acres and a thatch roofed winery would become the business that exists today. Certainly it has changed. The accoutrements of the past have been shaken off, discarded or evolved but some things remain the same. Yalumba still grows grapes and makes wine for the people of Australia and the world. It also continues to employ people across a broad spectrum of race, creed, colour, skill and talent. Yalumba people stand for the history, heritage and future of this great company.

On behalf of my brother Sam, my family and forebears, I dedicate this wine, "The Signature" 1995, to every man and woman, girl and boy, who has ever worked or been associated with the Yalumba Wine Company from 1849 to 1999. I thank you all for your strong backs and subtle minds during 150 years of success in the Barossa."

Robert Hill Smith


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1996 JAMES WARK This special wine is named to honour an individual who has made a significant contribution to the tradition of Yalumba. James Wark is a second-generation member of the Wark family to join and serve Yalumba with distinction. Alfred, his father was honoured as a signatory in 1966. James joined Yalumba in 1977 after a finance and accounting career, which took him from his native Barossa to Adelaide, Melbourne and London. His insightful reading of business together with his ability to listen and offer sage advice in his role as Group Commercial Director is a major factor in the continuing success of this family owned fine wine maker.

His love of the outdoors easily combines with his keen pursuits of fly-fishing, open water shoots and hunting. Exemplary cooking of the days catch, with good wine, presents ample opportunities for James to spin his yarns to the gathered team. Together with his artistic wife Di, he has become an enthusiastic Shiraz grower at Stonewell Farm in the Barossa. No doubt, as time goes by, this will prove to be another string to add to his considerable bow.

"All the worlds a stage ... and one man in his time plays many parts" William Shakespeare

Thank you James Alexander Wark for your part.

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1997 VIC DIBIASE The Signature 1997 honours our irrepressible and itinerant Italian, Vittorio "Vic" Di Biase, Cellarman at Yalumba since 1961.

Vic was raised on the family farm near the seaside village of Fossacesia, in the region of Abruzzo, on the Adriatic Sea. In June 1955, he announced to his family that he was sailing to Australia. He was 18 years of age. "It was never my intention to stay. I told my father I was going to have a look around and then return to the farm."

Nearly 50 years later, Vic has been home many times. In fact with his wife Maria he has travelled the world but 25 acres of vines, vegetables, olives and a modest, comfortable home near Angaston is where his heart is. "I love everything about this country except meat pies!"

E.M. Forster in Room with a View wrote, "The traveller who has gone to Italy ... may return remembering nothing but blue sky and the men and women under it". Vic reckons Forster should have taken the time to visit Australia.

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1998 ROSS WHITE The Signature 1998 honours a man who has been a bastion of the Samuel Smith & Son sales force. Ross White joined the company in 1985 with no wine experience but a solid sales background. Ross recalls his first visit to Yalumba when he was asked whether he was passionate about wine. "I replied that I was passionate about sales, which is still true after 30 odd years of chasing targets," says Ross. "My interest in wine came later."

Raised in Perth's North Beach, Ross was, by his own admission, an average student so left school early and went to work to help his mother support the family. Sport was something he excelled at and it was through the surf club that Ross met his wife, Victoria, with whom he raised two sons, Mitchell and Clayton.

"Free enterprise and the notion that, with a liberal dose of hard work, you can be whatever you want has been my motivating force," says Ross. "Irishman, Jonathon Swift, wrote ’may you live all the days of your life'. If that is the measure of success in life, I consider myself a success."

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1999 JOHN HEINE "There exists a great chasm between those, on one side, who relate everything to a single central vision ... and, on the other side, those who pursue many ends, often unrelated and even contradictory. The first kind of intellectual and artistic personality belongs to the hedgehogs, the second to the foxes." Isaiah Berlin.

John Edward Heine, 1994-2002, Director, Chairman, mentor and mate of Yalumba since 1986, was the fox. On the international corporate stage for Sola International he was an astute and cunning commercial leader and crusader for global integration.

Away from the cut and thrust of business, he harbored a dream of involvement in areas of philanthropy and saw it as his prime focus in retirement. He revelled in the fellowship of wine, food and good company, always wearing a smile; then retreated to the solitude and tranquillity of any nearby wilderness to reflect and fish for trout on the fly.

An intent listener and razor sharp observer, we miss him. It is sad that we shall not share this wine together. But we will indeed with Barb, Pete, Kate and Marc.

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2000 PETER LEHMANN "I am just an old Barossa bastard," says Peter Lehmann, reflecting on a career that spans 50 years. His significant contribution to Yalumba began in 1947 when he joined the company, fresh out of school. It was the beginning of what would become a winemaking tenure of 13 years, and the foundation of an incredibly strong and abiding bond.

He has piercing aquamarine eyes, set in a square, weather-beaten face and a deep, rumbling voice that projects confidence and knowledge gleaned from experience. Yet there is a contradiction here, a study in opposites. The eyes have crows feet, the face is deeply etched with laughter lines and the voice carries a chuckle.

Peter Lehmann is a man who was born to laugh, however life’s events have forged temperance, epitomised by his remark, "I battled corporate arrogance for most of my career, but my defining moment was with the impetuous writer, who after a tasting said to me, 'the Barossa floor is only good for growing cabbages'."

This winemaking warrior is now taking a well-earned rest from the day to day. He sits at his kitchen table with a glass of wine and ponders a challenging but magnificent life.

Peter 'Mudflat' Lehmann is a true friend of Yalumba and a champion of the Barossa. "The time has come" he said, "to talk of many things, cabbages and kings included."

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2001 GEOFF LINTON Geoffrey R. Linton, technical manager, Yalumba.

Corpulent and round he sits, carefully filling a spoonful of lemon curd tartlet, crème fraise and blackberry coulis, the pizza and scallops are long gone.

" ... so Geoff, why a lifetime fascination with matters scientific?"

" ... it's a fact of life that the most interesting things in the world are actually in the world of the sciences. Everything in my world has an answer, a solution. It's a fact of chemistry or physics or natural science. I find people infinitely more challenging plus I have a dreadful memory for names. Imagine me in sales. Human relations terrify me. Sparkling wine is still a great passion and right now I'm looking at ways to unlock more of the flavours of wine, the terpenes and thiols."

Geoff, loving husband to Ros and father to Sarah and Rachael and a mad motorcyclist to boot, has been the titan of technology at Yalumba and a key member of many Australian wine industry technical institutions for over 30 years. He loves good food and wine which he deserves and we happily provide!

"... shall we have a cheese plate or perhaps another pudding?" he enquires.

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2002 RHONDA SEXTON "I have been incredibly lucky. I have been a Yalumba salesperson since 1985 and I cannot imagine working for anyone else. I love Yalumba, who else would pick a nobody like me for this great honour?

My job has been more about forging relationships with my customers than selling; most people show a nice side sooner or later! In all this time, I have only had one nasty moment when a customer made me cry. I went next door, had a hair wash and dry then marched back into the store. I wrote the biggest order ever!

Actually, it's not so much a job, as a pleasant negotiation with friends. Nowadays, we often band together and head off to the track for a day at the races. I love frocking up for a big day out with the girls."

Rhonda is industrious, always positive, genuinely caring and a good fun person. All of us who have been lucky enough to work with her can only wonder that she has not only carved out a formidable reputation in the Wine Trade of Victoria but raised a husband and three children and now moves confidently into her role of grandmother to Cooper and Jack.

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2003 ALAN HOEY Alan Hoey has made a very significant winemaking contribution for 27 vintages at Yalumba. His indefatigable work ethic powered him as he moved from International Winemaking to Chief Winemaker and now Winery Operations Manager. And his nurturing of Nautilus Estate in Marlborough over 21 years has seen it grow into a respected boutique estate of that region.

"I arrived in 1980 and can honestly say, I cannot remember a bad day since. I am one of those lucky people who loves coming to work. As long as the challenges continue, I will continue to work. Calvin Coolidge said, "nothing in the world can take the place of persistence and determination; and I live by those words."

When Alan is not working or travelling, he can be found in the Adelaide Hills, overseeing his vineyards. His passion for wine has spilled over to the entire Hoey family; Cherryl, his wife, administers the vineyard, his son Mark is vineyard manager, and daughter Sharon in function management.

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2004 BRIAN WALSH Monty Python’s famous “he’s not the Messiah, he’s just a naughty boy” always resonates when Brian Walsh, Director of Winemaking, name is mentioned. A font of experience in all matters winemaking and production, he is constantly drawn upon for guidance and advice. One senses an inner Walshie, screaming out to tell a good joke, have a decent laugh and genuinely push the envelope as he did in the good old days while apprenticing his craft. He had a reputation as a hell-raiser back then.His father Jack, owned the Aldinga Hotel and it is here he was raised by his mother Mary along with four brothers and a sister. It was here also that his sense of humour began to develop. You need a sense of humour in a big family in a pub. His schooling, his sport, his leisure and his employment mainly revolved around Adelaide’s Southern Wine Region. Recently, Brian and Margot, his wife, purchased a beach shack in Aldinga, a place where they can both relax along with their four adult children, partners and grand children when their hectic schedules allow such luxury.If the south is Walshie’s spiritual home, then Yalumba and the Barossa, in the north, is his physical. For twenty odd years, He has laboured tirelessly on our viniculture, our wines in all disguises, process, conservation and the environment. He has also served with distinction on the local Barossa Winemakers Committee, the Adelaide Wine Show Committee, the South Australian Wine Industry Association and latterly chaired the South Australian Wine Tourism Board.He works very hard and it could be argued, the wine show accolades, the media coverage and the total re-invigoration of the Yalumba Family of Wines all carry the Walsh fingerprint. It is a team effort but Walshie is captain of the team.

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2004 BRENTON FRY There is an old movie where the passenger hero, having decided not to eat the fish offered for dinner, is asked to fly and land the plane full of people because everyone including the pilots have been poisoned by the meal. In the event of a repetition of that scenario, one can only hope that Brenton Fry, Managing Director, Negociants International is a passenger on the plane. Such is his knowledge of gadgets, gizmo’s, electronics and computers, he could land the plane without assistance and totally save the day. Brenton is the sort of guy who has solved his IT problem before Bill Gates has invented it. While people live their lives, he surfs the internet. If he is not surfing the internet, then he is watching his beloved Port Power football team, American football and baseball or he is asleep.Since 1983, at a time when the Australian Wine Industry was making its first teetering steps into international markets, particularly the United Kingdom, Brenton was there at the cliff face pushing Yalumba wines into the High Street. His tenacity, his ability to withstand the rigours of continual travel and a focussed strategic outlook has guaranteed Yalumba’s export success. After years of wine trade shows and exhibitions, he has also garnered for himself an eclectic black book of vignerons, principals and wineries associated with the very finest European wines. These wines are the backbone of our imported portfolio and these women and men have become his close personal friends.When he is home, he lives in Adelaide, he is married to Wendy and they have raised two strapping sons, Andrew and Martin. He is passionate about German engineered motor vehicles, something he says that defines, “precision, design, form and function.”

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2004 JOHN AULD The indefatigable, intelligent and witty little blonde bloke from Narrandera was told he would not amount to anything in life by his teacher and initially set out to prove them correct. John Auld’s first job was a fruit fly control officer in Adelaide but the tedium, heat and lack of fruit fly infestation in the suburbs soon drove him to constructing brush fences. A rash of arson attacks on brush fences in Adelaide was the catalyst for enrolling in the inaugural Roseworthy Agricultural College, Production and Marketing course. Brain had defeated brawn, a future in the Australian Wine Industry beckoned.John commenced at Yalumba in July 1985. He has performed many tasks in his illustrious career but his forte is marketing and since his appointment to the board, we genuflect and tug our forelocks in deep reverence to the Director of Sales and Marketing. He works tirelessly, he travels endlessly and his mobile phone rings incessantly but he is never flustered and he is never too busy to say hello or have a chat when someone just drops into his office. He continues to drive the quest for people culture perfection at Yalumba and his efforts show.John married his childhood sweetheart Ann and together they have reared four children, Sophie, Holly, Jock and Sam. He possesses a quirky sense of humour, he would kill for a roast lunch or dinner or both, is a committeeman at the Oakbank Racing Club, and thoroughly enjoys a hit of golf. He hits the ball like a gorilla, unfortunately he putts the same way.

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2005 JEFF SMITH

It is not the physique that draws you to Jeffrey Smith but there is a 'je ne sais quoi' quality about him. Perhaps it is the round smiling face topped with red hair, maybe it's the wicked laugh, whatever, there is certainly something unique about Smithy.

He commenced working for Samuel Smith & Son in 1985 as the Queensland Branch Administrator but he found accounting a little too dry and happily accepted the role of State Manager Queensland in 1987. Since then he has gone on to charm the populace of Queensland. He is regarded as one of the best salesmen in the State and was elevated to General Manager in 1999.

Despite an Australian Rules upbringing, Smithy was a handy rugby league player through his school and University years. It was only when his knees buckled that he retired from the sport and took to golf, thoroughbreds, wine and food. He freely admits, 'I got sick of having my head bashed in.'

In 1980, he married his childhood sweetheart, Leigh-Ann Richards. They have successfully raised Jodie and Mathew and were recently awarded with their first grandchild, William. Smithy will be a magnificent grandfather and mentor.

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2005 GREG PULLEN

The General Manager of Sales at Samuel Smith & Son is Greg Pullen, a resident of Sydney but equally comfortable in Hobart, Melbourne and Perth, all cities in which he has lived.

Greg joined us in 1986 as a Sales Manager in Victoria, moving to State Manager before transferring to Sydney as State Manager of NSW. Having ascended to the national role, he has had a profound affect on all those with whom he has worked.

He boarded at St. Joseph's where he excelled at Rugby Union, representing Australia at Under 18 level. He is a life member of Eastern Suburbs Rugby Union Club and a fanatical Wallaby and Waratah supporter. Always a strong swimmer, Greg is also an Honorary Vice President of the Bondi Icebergs.

He lives life to the fullest; music of all genres, food of all flavours and wine of all colours. It follows that his favourite destinations are the clubs, restaurants and bars of Paris and New York. But his biggest love is his three girls; Norma his mother, Fleur his daughter and his partner, Sammy.

'Where men are truly confident of their own worth, women are not merely tolerated, they are valued' - Aung San Suu Kyi

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2006 KEVIN RENSHAW

Kevin started at Yalumba on the 2nd February, 1986 with thoughts of country, wine, fresh local produce and a little farm firmly in mind. In 1988, after years of commuting from Adelaide to the Barossa, the Renshaw's purchased a little farm in Marananga complete with Shiraz, children, chooks and dogs, dreams became reality.

Today, perched up in Angaston Heights with DJ and Phantom the dogs, Kevin reflects on the healthy recovery of Marilyn, the success of his adult children, Danny, Jacqui and Alicia and the joy of three grandchildren. 'What an amazing year was 2009, talk about highs and lows and then all capped off being named a signatory. Ah well, that's life!'

As Yalumba's Group Commercial Director, Kevin's contribution is profound and all Yalumbarites would describe him as caring, fair and sincerely interested in everything and everyone around him.

Kevin and Marilyn are now planning their big outback caravan adventure complete with Country and Western music and lawn bowls. They are off to join the nomads!

Kevin is a worthy signatory and Yalumba is a better place for his labour.

'The common idea that success spoils people by making them vain, egotistic and self complacent is erroneous; on the contrary it makes them, for the most part, humble, tolerant and kind.'

W. Somerset Maugham

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2006 RALPH DUNNING

In 1983 Ralph takes on the challenge of Retail Sales Manager, Samuel Smith & Son, NSW Branch. As Yalumba's General Manager of Marketing, Ralph lists the rationalisation of the Yalumba range of wines and the phenomenon that is Y Series as his most satisfying achievements and the James Oliver campaign as the most fun.

Jane and Ralph have been together for 35 years and have raised two daughters, Polly and Charlotte. 'Simply the best thing I have ever done. Life suddenly went from just Jane and I, to another amazing dimension. I'm a big city boy with my big city girls!'

Relaxation for Ralph is the farm at Barrington Tops on the Allyn River about three hours north of Sydney. 'Miles from nowhere, there's me, the birds, 'TC' the one tonne bull and my Angus herd. I am a compulsive potterer, always have been. I cannot just sit. On the farm, I potter from dawn to dusk and sleep like the dead. My farm is my restorative.'

Ralph is a worthy signatory and Yalumba is a better place for his labour.

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2008 JUDY ARGENT

Judy Argent's stay at Yalumba was intended to be short when she was employed for the 1977 summer school holidays; her brief was to 'put discipline into the winemaking records'. Thirty five years later and still growing with the job, Judy has gone on to make a significant and positive contribution to the culture and tradition of Yalumba. Her early ambition to be a winemaker gave way to a career of 'managing the winemakers' - artisans rarely noted for their record keeping skills.

Energy, stamina, initiative, integrity and an overwhelming desire to get it done has led to Judy being the anchor and go-to person of our winemaking, cellar and viticulture team. If Judy does not know something about a Yalumba vintage over the last thirty five years then it is not worth knowing. Today, as Planning and Process Manager, Judy continues to influence her colleagues through her wisdom, example, sharp wit and loyal friendship. Her creative side is also fully exploited when playing a leading role in organising the Yalumba float for the biannual Barossa Vintage Festival parade - a fun but competitive community event that we expect to win - and generally do.

Born in Angaston and raised on the boundaries of a National Park and a Yalumba vineyard, Judy is a true local.

Married to Brian and with daughter Kate; the family lives on the outskirts of Angaston overlooking the Barossa Valley. A fearsome and successful competitor for the Angaston Bowling Club, Judy's talents also come to the fore as an accomplished and adventurous cook - much to the delight of her family and friends. Her food is often generously paired with purchases of mature offerings from the Barossa Vintage Festival Wine Auctions and other favourites from her cellar.

The people of Yalumba congratulate Judy on a contribution well made and an honour well deserved.

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2009 CLIVE WESTON

‘All the world’s a stage’ and were it not for the intoxicating lure of well-made wine, outstanding cuisine, surrounded by good-humoured people, Clive John Ryland Weston may well still live in London, a star of stage and screen, a thespian.

Our great fortune is attributed to a vintage in 1973 at de Luze et Fils, Bordeaux, where Clive’s interest in wine was piqued, and from that time he has committed himself to a 40 year apprenticeship in all vinous matters, production, processes, sales and marketing.

Clive is a doyen of the New Zealand wine industry, much loved by his team at Negociants,customers, family, friends and Nautilus Estate. Of customers he says, ‘I enjoy working with them all and a number have become more than customers over the years; a reminder that life is short and we must seek out kindred spirits and humour in what we do.’

Clive’s proudest work moments are his induction to the NZ Restaurant Association’s Hall of Fame for services to the hospitality industry and this, The Signature 2009.

His proudest personal achievement is marrying his wife, Creina, and fathering three wonderful and talented children, Abigail, Cornelia and Richard.

When Clive’s not working, husbanding or parenting, he immerses himself in food and wine, the veggie garden, mates, acoustic guitars and his beloved theatre.

Barry Humphries said, ‘the difficulty about a theatre job is that it interferes with party-going’ and you, Clive, party as hard for NZ as the All Blacks play rugby!

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2010 JANE FERRARI

The prerequisite for the successful completion of the Roseworthy College Oenology degree is a hands-on vintage. Jane Michelle Ferrari undertook her first vintage with Johnny Glaetzer of Blass fame and she attributes her knowledge and passion for wine wholly to him. “He is one of my mentors,” Jane says, “plus he introduced me to the fun side of the Barossa; people, food and festivals. I love the Barossa . It is also home to the other two major influences in my life, Robert O’Callaghan of Rockford and Robert Hill-Smith of Yalumba. O’Callaghan taught me ‘straight to the heart’ marketing and the art of story-telling. Hill-Smith gave me the inspiration to fly.”

For the past 14 years, Jane has travelled the world communicating the Yalumba wine story. She has quickly gained a reputation for herself as an entertaining, instructive, vinous gospeller and wine educator. In 2012, she won the WCA, Wine Communicator of the Year award and in 2013 was inducted into the Barons of the Barossa fellowship. She is a communicator par excellence.

Howdy folks, my name is Jane Ferrari, seems hardly the stuff of communication awards but her love of wine, food and storytelling gives her the unique gift of being able to paint pictures on people’s palates. Wine is a common language spoken around the world in different accents, Jane’s story-telling ability creates the Australian, Barossa and Yalumba background scenery. “It amuses me greatly that you can tap into people’s imaginations with words. I don’t know what it is and I don’t know where it comes from but geez, I hope it doesn’t stop!”

And when the work stops, Ferrari visits Graceland, drives Route 66, goes to concerts and theatres, barracks for Chelsea FC and the New York Yankees, meets interesting people and visits great places. At home, she kicks back and watches Criminal Minds with a tumbler of bourbon and coke. It’s been a long and winding road for the little girl from Gap Road, Alice Springs.

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