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, ‘Stentiford’, named after its original title holder, Henry Stentiford.
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.
Today, the wines produced from the Home Block - which is guarded by the friendly red heeler 'Gilly' (pictured) - go into the premium labels of Kopparossa and Olivia. Hoggies Chardonnay and Hoggies Non-Vintage Sparkling Coonawarra Chardonnay/Pinot are also sourced from the Stentiford vineyard.
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.
In March 2009, he purchased a 24 Hectare (60 Acre) vineyard at Yelta, via Merbein, near the Murray River in North Western Victoria. It is planted with the popular varieties of Chardonnay, Cabernet, Shiraz and Muscat of Alexandria. The fruit quality is excellent, as the soil profile in the vineyard is rich sandy loam over limestone.
The vineyard was developed in 1972, originally as a mixed dried fruit and citrus property.
“It was on this land that my brother and I, along with a few local mates, carved out motor bike and car racing tracks in what was then Mallee scrub set on Belar and Hop Bush ridges. In a sense it is a returning to your roots theme that somehow envelops a lot of men in their later life. I have felt very comfortable reconnecting to my family in a farming sense and the local Yelta and Sunraysia community after 28 years,'' recalled Gavin.
In May 2009 the much anticipated “Hoggies” Australia Range of wines was released. It was decided that our portfolio had to be expanded to accommodate an increasing demand for medium priced, value for money products that reflected and promoted an individual, non-corporate, winemaker’s philosophy.
THE KOPPAROSSA LABEL
The first wines under the Kopparossa Label were released in 2000, with a 1998 Coonawarra Shiraz and a 2000 Coonawarra Unwooded Chardonnay.
They were both superb examples of carefully crafted Coonawarra wines, reflecting mature vineyards, a great climate and wonderful soil.
Regular releases of these wines have occurred since the first release in 1999, with the latest releases being from the 2012 vintage.
All wines have received numerous accolades and medals, highlighted by the 1999 Coonawarra Shiraz that won a Gold medal in the Jimmy Watson class at the 2000 Melbourne Wine Show.
THE OLIVIA LABEL
In December 2005, the Olivia Label was launched, initially in Canada, and then domestically (Australia) in 2007.
The current wines available in this range are the 2012 Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2012 Coonawarra Shiraz.