OWNER AND FOUNDER OF BUNN’S VINEYARD AND BUNN WINE
“Inspired by biodynamic viticulture in the pursuit of growing excellent fruit, my research led me towards biodynamic wines.”
When did you realise you wanted to become a winemaker?
It started in 1997 shortly after my marriage to Irene, we were looking to diversify our farming interests. We decided to plant a vineyard with the intention of selling fruit to a nearby winery. The fruit from Bunn’s Vineyard was selected for their reserve range and this sparked our interest and the pursuit of value adding and building resilience into the business was born. With consultation from wine mentors in the region, this progressed to building a winery on our farm in the Great Southern near Albany and producing preservative-free shiraz and cabernet sauvignon and then later in 2018, we planted riesling.
Please tell us about your career so far, including your education, work experience etc.
My family are farmers going back generations starting in the UK. I have always been involved with farming and driven by curiosity and a keen interest in soil science. Mentors such as the late John Priestly and the late Hugh Lovell, both were recognized for outstanding produce in their fields using biodynamic growing. My interest in healthy soils and natural farming methods aligned with their approach. Inspired by biodynamic viticulture in the pursuit of growing excellent fruit, my research led me towards biodynamic wines. I believed they were superior in quality with a vitality in the taste. A French sommelier described biodynamic wines as having “nervosity” that literally translates to “alive”.
What do you love most about being a winemaker?
We love the feedback we get from people who love our wine. This makes all our efforts worthwhile to be met with such enthusiasm from our supporters.
What is your favourite wine, and what food do you typically pair it with?
A beautiful rich red wine like shiraz or cabernet sauvignon on a cold night with roast red meat is a winner and a riesling with roast pork is making me feel hungry.
Is there a specific process you follow when developing a new wine?
Begin with the end in mind starting in the dry grown, cane pruned vineyard, in rocky laterite biologically active soil, to produce low yield concentrated berries. The aim is to bring the best possible fruit to the winery before we start the wine making process.
Is there any vintage you’re particularly proud of creating? Why?
I’m very proud of the response we have had from our wine followers to many of our vintages particularly the Bunn 2008 Shiraz. The one that I am most excited about now are the 2020 Bunn Shiraz and Bunn 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon – rich red wines full of flavour and intensity.
How does the local climate/soil affect the wine you make?
Bunn’s Vineyard is in a cool climate in the Albany sub region of the Great Southern in Western Australia. We enjoy a long slow ripening season that benefits flavour development.
Which of your own varieties do you typically indulge in?
Shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and riesling are the go-to wines.