About Me

Let's attempt to get probably the most obvious question out of the way; "why Intrepid Wino?" When I decided to take a life-changing odyssey around the world of wine I had a number of people recommend writing a blog as I travelled, not only as they wanted to read all about what I was doing but also as a record of my trip. I asked my friends on Facebook to suggest some names for said blog, and the two best were were my older sister's 'Intrepid Guzzler' and my Italian friend's 'Wino Forever'. Neither of them were perfect, but combined I thought they perfectly summed up what I was about to become; an Intrepid Wino.

The world of wine is all about discovery, both in the glass and out of it
A 'wino' may be commonly considered an alcoholic, but it is a more ironic moniker as drinking wine is just part of the job and far from a vice. 'Intrepid' it is most often related to travel, in terms of being a bold explorer which I intended to be. As I approached the end of my journey I questioned whether or not I should continue as intrepid as my travels were over for the time being. When I thought about it 'intrepid' also could refer to exploration and discovery, and upon closer examination also can mean 'someone invulnerable to fear', something I think is necessary in the world of wine today.

Kicking it old school in Chile
Heading back to where it all began in 2004, I found myself with a BA from Melbourne University without a lot of direction. Taking a full-time position at my local (chain) liquor store I was introduced to a creative outlet and a chance to learn more in wine. Anyone will tell you that working in this kind of retail has severe limits and thus I pursued a career in the wine industry, starting my quest in the cellar door of Domaine Chandon Australia, one of the most visited wineries in Australia and part of the Louis-Vuitton Moet-Hennessy group.

Meeting friends along the way, in this case Pierre Gaillard in the Rhone Valley
Working at DCA introduced me initially to the tourism and hospitality side of a winery; taking tours, hosting tastings, serving food and running wine events. I took every opportunity to learn more about wine by listening in to winemaker led tastings and asking endless questions whenever possible. I almost took a world trip back in 2007 but at the eleventh hour an opportunity to join the marketing team - something I'd only dreamed about - presented itself and I then entered the world of marketing a strong wine brand for the largest luxury goods company in the world.

A healthy dose of culture is always required when travelling. This was in Agrigento, Sicily.
Hoping to further my career in wine marketing I was accepted into the Masters program for Wine Business with the University of Adelaide, which I undertook part-time around full-time work. I had great support from my colleagues during the first two years of my study, but after four years working for one winery felt like I wasn't getting enough wine experience and subsequently left to take up a position in independent wine retail which gave me exposure to a lot more wine from all over Australia and the world.

It's not just about what's above ground. Down in a cellar in the Dao region of Portugal
In July of 2010 I took my first real wine trip, and where else would you start but in France. Over three weeks I visited the five major wine regions and was seduced by the idea of learning about wine from the source. This was when I started to get the idea for my trip, and as soon as I completed my Masters I booked my flights and embarked on my trip. It took a few months of planning and a lifetime of savings to start it but once the ball was rolling, it couldn't be stopped. Kind of like in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Getting my hands dirty for vintage in Germany. Technically feet actually.
Over a sixteen month period I managed to hit every major (and a few minor) regions across the U.S.A., Canada, Chile, Argentina, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and Portugal. I had the privilege of visiting about 400 wineries and meeting some of the most hospitable and experienced wine people in the world, some of whom I got to work with during vintage 2012 which I experienced in two wineries in Germany. Peppered amongst all these countries were some tourist-oriented visits to Brazil, the U.K., Ireland, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and South Korea on the way home.

Travel is nothing without great food, particularly in South Korea
Now I'm home I'm not really sure what I want to do, but whatever it is you can be sure I'll be writing about it. All I know is that I want to continue to work in the wine industry and never stop discovering. I hope you enjoy reading about my wine journey, and also about my ruminations as I try and adjust back to normality.