It is a universal truth … winemaking begins in the vineyard (or, in the parlance of the Oxley crew, “you’re only as good as your grapes”). We have a small team, led by our Field Manager, dedicated to taking care of and protecting the vines and grapes in our vineyards. They are out there on the frigid winter nights running the wind machines, wrapping the fragile, finicky varietals (e.g. Merlot and Syrah) in blankets in late fall and unwrapping them in spring, pruning, tying, spraying, hoeing, hedging, and harvesting.
They have a sixth sense for trouble … humidity, hail, disease, and birds (ravenous, voracious birds!) are among the troubles they face down. And they know the potential of our unique terroir and the ripening opportunities our late falls bring. We honour our field crew. They grow delicious, healthy grapes, and we celebrate when they start arriving at the crush pad. Then the winemaker starts his special work … a blend of hard physical labour, chemistry, artistry, taste buds, and finesse.
Our young winemaker, Andy Wilson, is part of the third generation at Oxley. He brings us not only his broad education in viticulture and oenology, but experience from stints at three other wineries. Andy is working with a regular cadre of tasters (his dad, grandfather, and field manager) to make the very best wines. They are a formidable and innovative group.