Wine voices: Brian Devitt, Winemaker & co-founder, Ashbrook Estate

“We were only the tenth vineyard in Margaret River. It was the pioneering days but we were confident about its future. The people who were here at that time were people I’d describe as dedicated wine people who were driven by the idea that they could produce world-class wine. It wasn’t about making a lot of money, it was about making really great wine. And some of those families are still here.

It took us a long time to work out how to do things. There was no one else here, who’d done it already, working it out for us. Through trial and error we worked things out; the trellising systems that worked best here, the varietals, the best way to handle the wine, all of those sorts of things.

I’m proud we’re still here, enjoying what we do, and we’re still a family operation. My daughter the winemaker, my son managing the vineyard, my son in law doing the marketing and sales, my wife doing the invoicing and accounting. We’re very much a true family operation. It’s long hours sometimes but we do what we enjoy doing, we don’t feel as though we’re forced to be here. And we live in a beautiful part of the world.”

Brian Devitt, Winemaker & co-founder, Ashbrook Estate

Image: Sarah Hewer

Max Brearley

Author Max Brearley

Max Brearley is a food writer, critic, consultant and host working with The Australian, The Guardian, Halliday, Margaret River Gourmet Escape, Truffle Kerfuffle, Conde Nast Traveller and delicious. to name just a few. A passion for a good yarn and great produce has seen him forage for native foods in the north west of WA, follow abalone from ocean to plate in the south west and dig for black truffles in the towering Southern Forests. He’s also been known to cast a critical eye over a meal or two for The Australian’s annual Hot 50 Restaurants and delicous., as well as producing written, visual and event content for organisations across Australia and globally. Whilst a proud Yorkshireman; he’s been moving south for much of his life. Relocating from London to Perth in 2012, a move to the southwest soon followed, where life girt by sea and vines is more than agreeable. Instagram: @max_brearley / Twitter: @maxbrearley / Web: maxbrearley.com

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