Geoff Merrill was born in 1953 and was raised on a sheep station in the far north of South Australia until he was 11 years old. The Merrill family then moved to the Barossa Valley, just north of Adelaide, where Geoff`s first links with the wine industry were formed. Following his `apprenticeship` at Chateau Reynella, in 1985 he purchased the historic Mount Hurtle winery. Reknowned for his handle-bar moustache and friendship with many of crickets elite, his talents were recently rewarded when he received the legendary Jimmy Watson Trophy, probably Australia`s most prestigious wine award.
McLaren Vale - located just 30 minutes drive south east of Adelaide and parallel to the coast, these rolling hillside vineyards produce some of Australia`s finest Shiraz and Grenache based red wines. Some of the areas historic old wineries were established in the late 1800s and many remain today. With a strong regional identity on the international stage, the wines have a distinctive style and subtlely achieved from a combination of very warm summers, mild winters and cooling sea breezes. Many of Australia`s most famous and expensive wines have their vineyard origins within this region. Coonawarra - the southern most and coolest of South Australia`s vineyards, benefitting from the cooling influences of the Southern Ocean. The soil comprises of a thin strip of iron rich red soil, or `terra rosa`, that imparts a special regional minerality to the wines, especially Cabernet Sauvignon.