Hoggie has been in the game since 1973. From 1980 - 1999 he was one of the most senior winemakers in the Mildara-Blass Empire.
He was co-responsible for inventing Jamiesons Run, with which he won a Jimmy Watson trophy in 1989.
He has won scores of gold medals and more than 20 trophies with his wines, mainly from fruit grown on the famous Coonawarra red dirt.
THE HOME BLOCK
In 1992, Gavin and his wife Julie purchased 10 acres (4 hectares) of land in the heart of Coonawarra. To coin a well known cricket lovers phrase, “We are just a mere Ricky Ponting cover-drive from the Coonawarra store.”
Together Gavin and Julie developed their home block.
With a strong background in viticulture, Gavin set about introducing a carefully researched trellis system known as the Te Kuata Two Tier to Coonawarra. With its close plantings and vertical shoot positioning, this system allowed for increased yields and optimal fruit quality.
THE HOGGIES LABEL
To Gavin (Hoggie), the hallmarks for a successful wine brand are, ‘consistency’ ‘approachability’, ‘drinkability’ and ‘great value for money.’ In his quest to pursue these attributes, the Hoggies label was born.
The white wine range includes a sparkling Chardonnay/Pinot Noir, wines made from Riesling, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc (all from the Coonawarra district) and a semi sweet Moscato made from Muscat of Alexandria grapes purchased from a Victorian vineyard.
The red wines (Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz) are predominantly produced from a number of grape growing regions from Victoria and South Australia. As much as 50% of the blend is drawn from Coonawarra and the Limestone Coast to add complexity and thus “over deliver” on the price to quality ratio.
Pre-eminent Australian wine writer and judge, James Halliday, regularly scores Hoggies wines at 90 plus and has also rated both reds in his “Best of the Best” category as value for money.
THE AUSTRALIAN LEGEND LABEL
The Australian Legend Label includes a Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, which are both multi-regional, and a Coonawarra Chardonnay.
The Label was originally created for the North American market and we are now exporting these wines to China. They have also gained a loyal following in the Australian domestic market.
During his days as a “big company’’ winemaker, Gavin was a key player in teams of winemakers who were active in the “medals race” in major wine shows.
While at Mildara Wines he was instrumental in securing some of Australia’s most coveted wine awards which included the celebrated Jimmy Watson Trophy at the Royal Melbourne Show, the Stodart Trophy in Queensland’s pre-eminent wine show and the Ian Smith Memorial Trophy at the Perth Wine Show.
Gavin won the Watson in his own right in 1989 and shared it with other wine makers at Mildara in 1983. He collected an impressive three Stodart Trophies (1989, 1992 and 1996) and won the Ian Smith twice (1989 and 1992).
Since leaving Mildara Blass he has been less active in chasing awards, believing that 'over delivering' with wines at every price point was better marketing than pursuing the Wine Show circuit. Nevertheless, all Hoggies, Kopparossa, Olivia and Australian Legend wines have won high praise in their limited exposure to the wine judges.
Hoggies came onto the market with 90/100 ratings from James Halliday for all first releases (2006 Chardonnay, 2008 Shiraz and 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon. They all secured a “Best Buys” nomination in the value for money classification and continue to gain high ratings in Winestate for Best Value classifications. They have also been highly rated in the Limestone Coast (Coonawarra) Wine Show, including top rating in the Riesling and Sparkling classes in 2015, and the Australian Small Winemakers annual show.
Olivia wines have also won many top ratings, including Best Wine in the $20-$30 price range at the Rocky Mountains Food and Wine Show in Canada (2007), the prize for which was a listing in every Liquor Depot store in Alberta. They too have great Winestate ratings.
Kopparossa wines continue to hold the top spot in terms of ratings, having begun their life with gold, silver and bronze awards with Wine Spectator for the 1999 vintages and in Halliday’s most recent edit.
Current wine accolades can be viewed for each individual product under the OUR WINES section.