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Our people

Winemaking team

Rob Dolan

Winemaker + Managing Director

Years in Industry: 36
Regions worked in: Yarra Valley, Hunter Valley, Coonawarra
Previous life: Physical Education Teacher, Psychologist and Footballer
Character Quirk: Always at stage 5 of a 20 point plan, invented the terrine sandwich, favourite songs are Kokomo by The Beach Boys and Sugarman by Rodriguez

Adrian Santolin

Chief Winemaker

Years in Industry: 18
Regions worked in: Yarra Valley, Sunbury, Hunter Valley, Riverina, Franciacorta (Italy) + Veneto (Italy)
Previous life: Sports Management
Character Quirk: Wants to bring back the 90’s

Featured Event 8

Han Gao

Winemaker

Years in Industry: 10
Regions worked in: Yarra Valley, Riverland, Pipers River, Bretzfeld (Germany) + Sancere (France)
Previous life: Student – Bachelor of Science + Engineering, Master of Oenology and Viticulture
Character Quirk: One of the best Chinese exports you’ll find, has a talent for disarming people with her sharp sense of humour

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Ben Dolan

Site Manager

Years in Industry: 5
Regions worked in: Yarra Valley, Hunter Valley, Central Otago (NZ) + Napa Valley (California, USA), Burgundy (France)
Previous life: Business/Sports Management Student
Character Quirk: Can kick a footy from one end of the winery to the other, enjoys annoying his mother Jude, not adverse to playing strip ping pong in the winery with his brother Max

Raphael Michael

Assistant Winemaker

Years in Industry: 2 (paid anyway!)
Regions worked in: Yarra Valley
Previous life: Student – Major in Chemistry + Microbiology, grew up working on his family vineyard
Character Quirk: Lunch room quiz master, creator of hot sauce

Peta Carlson

Laboratory Technician

Years in Industry: 6
Regions worked in: Yarra Valley
Previous life: Myotherapist
Character Quirk: 50% human, 50% hot cross bun, queen of the bitmoji

Lukas Tabecki

Cellar

What drove you to wine? I fell into it, I used to brew
beer and got offered a job wine-making, and love that it’s a
lot less methodical. I find it more creative and it gave me the
chance to travel too!
Best moment of 2021 vintage? Night shift – we’d all have a
bit of a dance since nobody else was around!

liam

Liam Macey

Cellar

Years in Industry: 3.5
Regions worked in: Yarra Valley
Previous life: Duty manager at a winery and restaurant
Character Quirk: : loves to belt out a Daryl Braithwaite tune on a Friday arvo, occasionally dabbles with his own ferments in his backyard

Alex Andrae

Cellar Technician

What drove you to winemaking?
Coming out of high school I took a gap year to work with for my dad’s building company in Mount Gambier. We did a job at Bellwether Wines in Coonawarra, where I thought the process of winemaking seemed really cool. I enrolled at the University of Adelaide a week later and here I am.
Favourite wine?
My favourite wine variety is Barbera. I’m also a huge fan of natural wines and anything that would be considered funky and a little weird. I love seeing sustainability in viticulture and winemaking, so anything organic or biodynamic is cool with me!

Tom Boyd

Cellar

What drove you to winemaking? I used to work in Hospitality as a server – my favourite part was always tasting wines and making recommendations. So, I thought why not apply to do my first vintage!
Best moment of 2021 vintage? Receiving my Rob Dolan
beanie – because I haven’t taken it off since!
How long have you been in the industry for? 5 years
working in hospitality and this is my second vintage.

Sales + Marketing team
kate mcgee

Kate McGee

Head of Sales + Marketing

Years in Industry: 7
Regions: Yarra Valley + Coonawarra
Previous life: Commercial Real Estate
Quirks: finds her own jokes funny + holds office record for most emails sent in a single day

meg

Meg Brodtmann MW

Education + Global Outreach

Years in Industry: 25
Regions: Yarra Valley, France: Loire Valley (Muscadet, Vouvray, Touraine, Chinon, Saumur), Bordeaux (Gironde, St Estephe), Cahors, Armagnac, Languedoc, Roussillon; Spain: Extremadura, Valdepenas, La Mancha; Germany: Rheinhessen, Rheingau; Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Cyprus, Chile, Argentina
Previous life: Medical researcher in Immunology
Quirks: Obsessed with American politics!

sage wang

Sage Wang

Export Manager – China

Years in industry: 8
Regions: Represented wine companies in Yarra Valley and South Australia
Previous Life: Worked in an accounting firm
Quirks: has a wicked and unsuspecting sense of humour

courtney hill

Courtney Hill

Direct Sales + Wine Club Manager

Years in industry: 13
Regions: Yarra Valley
Previous Life: Student – Diploma of Viticulture & Environmental Science Degree
Quirks: pizza enthusiast, enjoys eating dinner for breakfast

mel gilchrist 2

Mel Gilcrist

Marketing + Communications Manager

Mel has a passion for wine education, writing, and strategy. With a background working on large international brands, Mel joined us when she wanted to be “closer to the wine” (she had also fallen in love with our OG wine dog, Merlo.)

Mel enjoys working on our brand and campaigns, but also loves to meet consumers and run tastings and education at events.

Mel is co-host of our podcast Wine with Meg and Mel and teaches WSET2 at the winery alongside Meg.

You’ll often find her playing with her dog Zoe, or opening bottles of Blanc de Blanc with her sabre.

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Tori Scholten

Brand Coordinator

Years in industry: 2
Regions: Yarra Valley
Previous Life: Worked in marketing at a tech company
Character Quirks: Can easily smash a kilo of olives in less than 10 minutes

Cellar Door Team
scott

Scott Fitzgerald

Cellar Door Manager

Years in industry: 6
Regions worked in: Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula, Hunter Valley
Previous life: Baker and Pastry Chef
Quirks: Great dark and witty sense of humour and lover of all things chardonnay

Mitch Hand

Cellar Door Team

Favourite wines: Shiraz, recent Chardonnay convert
Main gig: Professional musician and music teacher
Character Quirk: Would talk about Coltrane for hours if prompted, avid sci-fi fan

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Holly O’Leary

Cellar Door Wine Specialist

Years in industry: In my first year
Regions worked in: Yarra Valley
Main gig: University Student – Studying Commerce
Character quirks: Loves roadtrips, everything pink, fur-babies and a good wine and cheese session. Is a grandma 90% of the time and likes to party for the remaining 10%, has questionable OCD.

Jess Phillippi

Cellar Door Wine Specialist

Years in industry: Newbie this year!
Regions worked in: Yarra Valley
Main gig: Actor, singer and dancer working in the theatre industry
Character Quirk: Loves hosting a dinner party and can whip up a seriously good vegan dish! Mum to a 17 year old cat and will happily show photos on request.

Amanda Quinless

Cellar Door Wine Specialist
Favourite wine: Riesling! – specifically the slatey, minerally kind
Past life: Indie game development & graphic design, previously worked in Rutherglen wine region.
Character quirk / fun fact: Enjoys collecting & reading comic books – especially of the horror variety, has tasted almost every Muscat in Rutherglen.

Sarah Paneels

Cellar Door Wine Specialist

Fun fact about you? Born in Brussels, but moved to Australia at the age of 18 to play Rugby Union.
Favourite wine/best wine you’ve ever tasted? Recently I have thoroughly enjoyed “Naissante 2015 Delamere Riesling“ – the first wine I drank after completing the overland track in Tasmania … it was a pure delight!
Side-gig: You’ll occasionally find me pouring beers with great banter at a couple of inner-city pubs I run with my husband.

Finance team
bruce phillips

Bruce Phillips

CFO

Years in industry: 17
Regions: Yarra Valley, Nagambie, Yea Valley + Bendigo
Previous Life: everything from shearing, to driving trucks, selling photocopiers + saving lives
Character Quirks: best Grandpa in the world, cracker of Dad jokes, maker of home brew. Thinks it’s the 1980’s

rachael hayward

Rachael Hayward

Accounts + Payroll

Years in industry: 15
Regions worked in: Yarra Valley
Previous life: various roles in Medical + Dental industries
Character Quirk: queen of cake decorating, has clocked up more km’s than the Leyland Brothers running her two boys around

Our wine dogs
merlo

Merlot

Chief Cuddle Officer

Belongs to: The Dolans
Years at winery: 3
Quirk: Loves a dip in the fountain and drying off on customers at cellar door, doesn’t understand the definition of no

hermes

Hermes

Guardian of the Laboratory

Belongs to: Peta
Years at winery: 6
Quirk: Serial puppy biter, sits at the table like a human in the lunch room

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Zoe

The Wine Princess

Belongs to: Mel
Years at winery: 1
Quirk: Too sasssy for her own good, the ultimate socialite, loves a cuddle.

Hector

King of the Barrel Room

Belongs to: Meg
Years at winery: 1
Quirk: Loves finding hiding places around the winery!

Featured Event 17

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