02 Mar Jim Chatto returns to Pepper Tree as Consultant Winemaker
Pepper Tree is pleased to announce that ex-winemaker Jim Chatto is to return as consultant Winemaker for the brand.
Chatto who was awarded GT Wine’s Winemaker of the Year in 2019 worked at Pepper Tree from 2007-2014 and amassed an amazing reputation as well as countless awards for the wines made during his tenure.
Chatto is keen to re-familiarise himself with a region he knows intimately having worked with great vineyards at both Pepper Tree and Mount Pleasant. Keen to push and help develop the house style he created; wines will be blended in an inimitable Pepper Tree manner; fusing the traditions of the region with a contemporary approach.
Jim Chatto: ‘Having enjoyed a great working relationship with Pepper Tree owner John Davis for over 20 years. Firstly, buying his grapes (from 2000) then as winemaker (from 2007) it’s great to be back and part of the team. The opportunity to support this new generation of Pepper Tree winemakers towards taking the vineyards and wines to the next level, is an exciting challenge.’
The new role coincides with the re-release of his famed 2013 releases which have received rave critical acclaim in the last year including winning the trophy for best Museum Red at the 2022 Limestone Coast Wine Show.
Of the appointment John Davis, owner of Pepper Tree Wines said: ‘Jim was responsible for developing Pepper Tree’s reputation for quality when he was our fulltime winemaker. We have maintained a close relationship over the years since and it is great to have him back in a formal consulting role.’
The consulting role will also benefit the winemaking team with the aim to nurture, mentor, and counsel current young winemaker Nick Kruger. This will ensure he has the tools at his disposal to create the best possible house style for Pepper Tree utilising the vineyards in the Hunter, Orange and Wrattonbully and Coonawarra.
Kruger who hails from a well-known family in the Barossa has worked primarily in SA for Yalumba and this year he will make Pepper Tree’s first wine from the Barossa sourcing fruit from hundred year old vines on his family vineyard.
Chatto plans to visit the winery throughout the year ensuring that the quality is paramount and utilising the best fruit from the four vineyard sources available.
Jim will commence his consulting role for the 2023 vintage.