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Luke Jolliffe WA Winery

NIGEL LUDLOW

WINEMAKER AND OWNER AT EVOI WINES

“One could arguably say that this is the best wine region in the world, and you would have a very strong case for at least a couple of varieties.”

When did you realise you wanted to become a winemaker?
I had a mid-life crisis at twenty-five years old and decided I needed to have a proper career after having way too much fun travelling around the world on a shoestring.

Please tell us about your career so far, including your education, work experience etc.
I gained a BSc in Human Nutrition followed by years enjoying triathlons and working as a dive master and surf lifeguard. After studying winemaking, I worked in New Zealand, Hungary, South Africa, and Spain, before moving to Australia. I have been in Margaret River for about twenty-five years.

What do you love most about being a winemaker?
Winemaking is in my mind, making art. It’s a very creative process. I also like that it involves so many facets; vineyard work, physical winery work, lab analysis, tasting, cellar door, bottling, and so much more.

What is your favourite wine, and what food do you typically pair it with?
I have no favourite wine; it really depends on the type of food or situation. One choice would be Margaret River SBS with fresh snapper or cabernet with a rack of lamb.

Is there a specific process you follow when developing a new wine?
I just follow the grapes. I was lucky to have no preconceptions when I moved to Margaret River, so I just worked out the best blends that suited the grapes.

Is there any vintage you’re particularly proud of creating? Why?
We are so lucky in Margaret River to have almost perfect vintages each year. In my twenty-odd years in Margaret River, there were only two vintages that were difficult.

How does the local climate/soil affect the wine you make?
One could arguably say that this is the best wine region in the world, and you would have a very strong case for at least a couple of varieties. The maritime climate coupled with some of the oldest soils on the planet makes a very strong building block.

Which of your own varieties do you typically indulge in?
I really do like them all, from the SBS to the fortified.

Where do you see yourself in five years? How do you think your winemaking will evolve during this time?
Winemaking is a very progressive art. Styles are continuing to change. At the moment I have four new projects I’m working on. I think over the last few years we have learnt the importance of adaptation.