A few years ago I sat next to a lovely bloke called Matthew Taylor at the Australian Drinks Awards. He was just finishing up at Yalumba and contemplating his next career move.
He ended up joining a winery called Oakridge in Yarra Valley, which was bought by Woolworths this week. Well, a division of a division of Woolworths. The liquor arm of Woolies is called Endeavour Group and it has a fine wine department called Paragon Wine Estates. Still with me?
Paragon Wine Estates now owns Oakridge Wines (Yarra Valley), Chapel Hill (McLaren Vale), Isabel Estate (Marlborough, NZ); Krondorf (Barossa Valley), and Riddoch (Coonawarra).
You can read more about the acquisition here.
I’d noticed on LinkedIn that Matthew had moved to Mollydooker Wines, so I left a comment congratulating him. When the Oakridge announcement came through I thought aha! and the pieces of the puzzle fell into place.
I loved that the press release celebrating his appointment as Mollydooker COO concluded with: “For those who are wondering, yes, Matt is a left hander!”
You see, the winery’s name comes from an old Australian slang word for a left-handed person. Left-handed owner Sarah Marquis launched Mollydooker with her former husband, Sparky, in 2005.
I love to see a fellow left hander being celebrated, we’re a creative breed. I haven’t tried Mollydooker wines yet, but I’m keen. They have the most gorgeous labels and names. Read my story here.
In case you haven’t noticed over the past five years … I love reporting on all the latest developments and trends in the drinks industry. I have gathered so much knowledge and it’s great to still be able to put it to use with my Drinks Digest website. I’m so excited about a story I’m working on for next week, though I’m sure you’d be a bit huh if I told you what it was. It’s about a new product that I’ve seen that’s taking off in the US – I’m wondering if it will do the same in Australia. Stay tuned.
The only thing that’s missing for Drinks Digest is a wider audience. But these things take time and I’m only a few months in. My readership grows every day. But it would be great to keep the industry up to date in a more effective way.
I’m getting there slowly. An article I wrote about Lion launching the inaugural National Local Day – to be celebrated on March 23 – has being going off like a frog in a sock in my Linked In feed. Go me! Speaking of Linked In, a friend of DD’s asked me the other day what my SSI score was. SSI stands for your Social Selling Index. Have you checked yours? I hadn’t.
While my score is only 54% – sad face – it still apparently puts me in the top 10% for “industry ranking” and top 27% for “network ranking”. That sounds OK … I think … but I’m not entirely sure what it’s all about. I might have to do a bit more research.
Another bonus of my work is the lovely deliveries along the way. A bottle of Plantation Stiggins’ Fancy Pineapple Rum arrived on my doorstep yesterday. It’s unique in the flavoured rum category, as it is made with fresh chunks of tropical pineapple – rather than syrup – macerated in the Plantation Original Dark rum, while pineapple rinds are infused in Plantation 3 Stars White Rum and then further distilled. Finally, both are blended together.
Yum! I can’t wait to try it. Rob Ficks from The Hawthorne in Boston, told Forbes: “This is what a flavoured rum should be. I scoffed when I first heard about it. Man, did I eat my words. I’ll drink it in a daiquiri, old-fashioned, or just in a cup.”
I also got a few bottles of craft cider sent to me so I could toast National Cider Day today. I love a good cider, so I’m stoked. Read more about Australia’s booming cider industry and National Cider Day by clicking here.
OK, gotta go. I’ve got walks to do and coffees to have. Have a great weekend and raise a glass to National Cider Day if you get a chance.