Howard is celebrating 50 years in the wine industry in 2014!
He has spent the last 23 years of that working at establishing and building up Anderson winery. But it all started 50 years ago, back in 1964.
Howard had no family history in the wine industry (in fact, the only alcohol his father drank was the case of beer he always got for Christmas, which took him the whole year to finish). But when he finished high school (in Griffith, NSW) he was offered 3 jobs – one at CSIRO, one at the WC&IC (water commission), and one as a trainee winemaker at a local winery. He thought winemaking sounded interesting, and so chose the job at Rossetto’s winery. His mother revealed years later she was petrified he’d turn into an alcoholic.
That first vintage at Rossetto’s in 1964, Howard suddenly became responsible for winemaking 2 or 3 weeks into vintage as his boss had to spend 2 weeks in hospital. Howard took to it like a duck to water, and although his boss had his brother check on him a few times, that stopped after the first week as everything was obviously under control. This dive in the deep end cemented in Howard’s mind that this was what he was meant to do.
In late 1970 Howard got a job at Seppelt in Griffith, and was transferred to Seppelt Great Western in June of 1971. This is where he learnt about making sparkling wines, and the passion for this stays with him to this day. Howard spent 14 years as a winemaker with Seppelt at Great Western, and during this time was posted at their Rutherglen winery for a couple of vintages, and so got to know the Rutherglen region.
When the urge to start his own vineyard and winery took hold, he chose Rutherglen as the place to go because of the potential he saw for full bodied reds (and sparkling reds). He purchased a block of land on the eastern side of Rutherglen and starting planting vines (Shiraz) in 1992. He chose the block for the traditional Rutherglen loam soil (buckshot clay) and gentle slope. This soil type allows for non-irrigation, and is perfect for rich, flavoursome styles of wine including our full bodied reds.
One of Howard’s early releases from his own vineyard was our 2003 Cellar block Shiraz (even though the vines were planted in 1992 – we got hit by hail and then frosted – that’s a whole other story!). We currently have the 2003 on as a special aged release, and it is drinking beautifully – intense yet smooth. It is $35 per bottle and available at our Cellar door or online – http://fromtheproducer.com/wine/anderson-2003-cellar-block-shiraz.html
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