Mount Langi Ghiran’s new Head Winemaker
Adam is a Grampians man through and through. Not only is he born and bred in the Grampians, his career first began at Langi as a cellar hand under Trevor Mast in 1998 and then working with subsequent chief winemaker Dan Buckle.
This Langi experience provided the grounding for Adam to then travel the world working in wineries across the Pyrenees, Margaret River (including our sister winery Xanadu), Bordeaux and Napa Valley.
With 32 harvests under his belt and experience in 5 wine regions around the globe, Adam returned to Langi in 2016 first as a winemaker – and now in the role of Head Winemaker.
We asked Adam to share some of his journey to date.
So Adam, tell us about your first vintage? How old were you at the time, where was it, how did you get the job?
I officially started at Langi in 1998, I was 18 at the time. Trevor asked my father if I would be keen to work here and I jumped at the opportunity straight away. I had been coming to Langi since I was 9 years old (I grew up around the corner and was friends with the Vineyard Manager’s sons). And when I was a young teen Trevor asked me to help out with bird management, so I guess he saw something in me other than just a young gun for hire.
You’ve had experience in both Bordeaux and Napa – which do you prefer?
That’s a tough one, they were both great!
Bordeaux was gastronomically indulgent, the winery was owned by Finnish food and wine Entrepreneur Juha Berglund. We had Chefs flown in for a week at a time (sometimes from Michelin star restaurants). The days were filled with harvesting and winemaking and the nights were quite formal with menus anywhere from 5 to 12 courses with matched wines from all over Europe. We also had regular visits to the top Chateaus all over the Bordeaux region.
Napa was different again, here we had the best of everything – it was a winemakers fantasy basically. There were long days and lots of sweat, but also great dinners and amazing wines were consumed especially “cult” wines. Expectations of perfection were high, but it was a great learning curve and I made a lot of good friends and connections during my time there.
With over 32 harvests experience you’ve had an amazing wine journey for someone still in their 30’s – what have been some of the highlights?
My four top highlights would have to be:
1. Working under Trevor Mast for 8 years at Langi and being taught about wine, locally and globally.
2. Having the opportunity to see parts of the world through my winemaking journey.
3. Working with some of the top consultants in the Napa Valley.
4. Working with some of Australia’s best Shiraz parcels at Langi.
Now you have come full circle and you are back at Mount Langi Ghiran, what is so special about this place?
Having travelled to some of the most spectacular wine regions around the world (not only for work but pleasure too), it’s hard to deny just how unique the site of Langi actually is.
We have one of the longest growing seasons which adds to the complexity; the nature and backdrop is amazing and we have great people here too.
Having a shared passion and vision with Damien [Langi’s Viticulturalist] for Langi, now and for the future, it’s exciting to work with a team who are on the same page with what we want to achieve; all aiming to make some of the best wines in the country.
How do you describe your approach to winemaking?
My approach to winemaking is simple, get it right in the vineyard (which we do well here), then nurse the wines through from start to finish, listening to what the wines and vines need and respecting what you get given each season.