Top Dog, and Chief Coffee Maker
In my 20’s I helped dad set up and manage our family vineyards, whilst studying a Bachelor of Business and Property. In 2000, I was awarded the Geoffrey Roberts Award for innovations in the wine industry.
Sideline obsessions include; creating art with my two little girls, photography, music, and innovation and design.
Without doubt the luckiest guy ever, as my passion became my business. I’ll get a real job soon. Unlikely though.
Director, and Chief Financial Officer
My offsider, and possibly one of the most beautiful people in the world, inside and out.
Before Koonara, Nicole worked for the Hyatt Hotel chain, where she spent years abroad working her way up through the ranks. Her last job was the Conference Manager at the 6-star Park Hyatt in Melbourne.
As well as finance and export, Nicole is the driving force behind our brands LARDER homewares and Lucy & Alice Jewellery which are sold in our two Cellar Doors, and wholesale around Australia in over 500 stores.
Buster The Wonder Dog
Official Welcoming Committee
Our little Jack Russel/Fox Terrier dog who eagerly greets visitors as they come into our Cellar Door.
Buster is famous, you may have seen him in an addition of ‘Wine Dogs’, and he starred in The Big Beg advert to raises money for RSPCA. You will see him right at the end, 58 seconds in. Very cute. He is always happy to meet new visitors, and reunite with familiar faces.
What more can be said about the great man – former head Winemaker at Wynns in Coonawarra for 15 years, he spent vintages in Bordeaux with ‘Chateau Leoville Barton’, Napa Valley with Constellation, both Sicily and Tunisia with ‘Casa Vinicola Calatrasi’ and ‘Puglia’ before returning back home to Coonawarra.
A good family friend, and we are privileged to have him as our winemaker. Something not many people know is, our super premium Head Honcho, Cabernet Sauvignon is named after him.
Limestone Coast Sales Account Manager
Irish born, Jen has worked in hospitality for over fourteen years. She lost her accent quickly (you have to in Australia) working long hours in Adelaide and Cairns, before moving to Penola for love. Lucky us!
A passionate wine lover, who learnt all she knows from her dad who has worked in the wine industry for decades. Jen married Scott, a local high school teacher and is currently on maternity leave looking after her two beautiful children.
Office & Logistics Manager
Behind every good brand there is a great manager, and Matt our efficient Office Manager makes sure everything runs smoothly in all parts of the business.
Creative and Marketing Director
Born 30 mins down the road in Naracoorte, Sally made the move from Sydney to Penola in 2013, to escape the ‘rat race’. She has worked 11 years in London, Sydney and Adelaide as a Senior Graphic Designer in Marketing and Communications for Vodafone, Lidl, and SALife Magazine.
She is married to Jamie, a local Penola boy. Her favourite wine is The Head Honcho Cabernet Sauvignon 2012.
Koonara's Cellar Door Manager
Kate wants to stress she is no relation to THE Katie Perry. She moved to Penola from Horsham, with her partner, a local Penola boy.
Kate has had years of experience working in hospitality and retail, and is a wiz in the Cellar Door. Her secret talent is dancing, and she loves entertaining friends and family.
Koonara Cellar Door Assistant
A Penola born and bred lass, Laura has a contagious energy and passion for people and life. She loves travel, social media, and hanging out with her boyfriend and friends. Her secret talent is singing – she even got a few solos back in primary school!
Koonara Cellar Door Assistant
Originally from Tarpeena, Daniel moved to the USA in 2006 and worked in IT. In mid-2016 he returned home with is his American wife (who was excited to spend warm days at the beach).
Daniel likes big flavoured red wines, but enjoys new and interesting varieties. He also loves playing the guitar, art and design, and meeting new people and hearing their stories.