- 2 wines
- 2 styles
A talented wine wizard getting back in the game
Brian’s passion for a life in wine was inspired by his Dad, and a glass of 1983 Dom Perignon that ‘blew me away’. The pair shared a dream to start a wine business together, but his father passed away too soon and they never got the chance.
When it came to choosing his career, Brian couldn’t go past winemaking. Not just because it sounded awesome, but because his Dad would have been stoked to have a son who was a winemaker.
After a 3 year hiatus from a stellar career making wine with his best mate, Angels have given Brian a second chance to get back in the game he loves so dearly. He couldn’t be happier or more grateful!
Brian Conway's Story
“I had my first glass of wine with my dear Dad on NYE 1989, a 1983 Dom Perignon from memory. It blew me away and was the catalyst for my future in wine.
“I was really close to him. We loved the same things and shared a dream to start a wine business together. But he passed away suddenly and I never got the chance.
“When it came to choosing my career, I couldn’t go past winemaking.
“Not just because it sounded awesome, but because my Dad would have been stoked to have a son who was a winemaker.
“I started working in a bottle shop while cramming for industry qualifications. It doesn’t sound very glamorous, but it exposed me to hundreds of wines from around the world and the endless possibilities.
“My first vintage in Sonoma, California, in 1999 was a real eye-opener!
“I got my hands into everything from washing tanks to sampling vines. I loved every minute of it and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. As soon as I got home, I headed for Margaret River to learn from some greats.
“In 2002, I got the chance to make vintage at the impressive Chateau du Bluizard Estate in Beaujolais. It’s where many of Australia’s top winemakers have earned their stripes.
“It was there I met Craig Isbel from Izway Wines. Long story short, Craig and I hatched a plan, over a few wines (and maybe some Pastis…) to start our own winery, Izway, in the Barossa when we got back to Australia. And did just that.
“From 2003 to 2018, Craig and I built Izway Wines from an idea to a much-loved cult winery.
“I even had time for a side project, Trapeze, making wine with Victorian fruit and my great mate, and renowned winemaker, James Lance.
“Then, in 2018, I sold my half of the business to the Isbels (the ‘Iz’ of Izway) so I could spend more time at home with my kids in Victoria.
“There’s a saying that goes “a ship in harbour is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for”. It could have been written about me. Turns out I missed getting my toes wet and hands dirty in the winery.
But, I needed a way to start again. From scratch…
“My mates, Naked winemakers Ben Gould and Josh Pfeiffer, knew exactly what I should do… make wine for the Angels. Ben gave me an introduction and now I’m back in the saddle, doing what I love. I can’t believe my luck!”