Jack Burston & Peter Douglas
Jack Burston & Peter 's Wines
- 3 wines
- 2 styles
Two Coonawarra greats outsmarting corporate skullduggery
What Peter doesn’t know about Coonawarra isn’t worth knowing. His first winemaking job was at the iconic Wynns winery in the 1980s, where he quickly climbed the ladder to become Senior Winemaker for both Wynns and the local Penfolds Lindemans wines. Global vintages followed before he headed back to his beloved Coonawarra as a consultant and contract winemaker.
Grape grower Jack’s biggest customers were corporations with big wine brands. Trouble was, they paid peanuts for his gorgeous grapes and then disappeared completely when the China Tariff Crisis hit.
Thanks to Naked backing, the two were able to get together. “Peter’s finally making the wines he really wants to, without others looking over his shoulder, and my grapes are living up to their full potential!” Jack told us. And you get their exclusive wine. Win, win!
Jack Burston & Peter Douglas's Story
We’re on a mission to save independent Aussie & Kiwi wine producers from a broken industry model by giving them a fair go — and bringing you better value wine in return.
Peter and Jack’s story shows just what that means in real terms.
It all began with a familiar name buzzing on Peter’s phone — local grape grower Jack Burston. But instead of asking the former Wynns head winemaker if he wanted his usual tonnage, Jack had a very different proposition.
“Mate, I really need a hand. Can you make me some wine?”
It was a plea from a passionate Coonawarra grower caught up in commercial wine skullduggery…
You see, Jack’s biggest customers were corporations with big wine brands. They paid peanuts for his gorgeous grapes and mixed them away with lesser quality fruit to make vats of standard plonk.
“We were just part of a big blended bucket of wine to them,“ Jack admits. “One large customer once told us ‘all we care about is paying you as little as possible for your fruit’.”
Over the years, it was becoming unsustainable.
And then that ‘little’ turned into zero when the China tariff crisis had his corporate wine buyers running for the hills.
Despite busting his chops in the vineyard, Jack had no one to buy his stunning fruit. And that meant no income.
And then came Naked.
Whispers of our way of doing business reached Jack's ears and he gave us a call. Now we don’t buy grapes, but we did promise if he could turn some into Angel-grade wine, we’d have a deal.
The only problem was, Jack wasn’t a winemaker.
But his mate Peter was. And the Coonawarra legend was one of the best.
“So what do you think, Peter?” Jack held his breath. “You can have your pick of my crop to make it…”
“Mate, I’ve already done it!” Peter smiled. “I’ve been buying your grapes for years, and they’re really good!"
You won’t be disappointed — what Peter doesn’t know about Coonawarra isn’t worth knowing.
His first winemaking job was at the iconic Wynns winery in the 1980s, where he quickly climbed the ladder to become Senior Winemaker for both Wynns and the local Penfolds Lindemans wines.
The awards started flowing as fast as he could make the stuff.
His exquisite ‘John Riddoch’ Cabernet — Wynns’ flagship wine — won best Aussie Cabernet one year.
Peter went on to take up winemaking contracts in the US, France, Italy and Tunisia before heading back to Coonawarra in the early 2000s as a consultant and contract winemaker. He even finds time to judge at top wine shows here and there.
Jack and Peter’s label ‘Over the Line’ is a play on the railway line that once marked the boundary of the Coonawarra wine region and cuts jack’s vineyards in two.
Peter’s tastebuds favour the vines on the ‘wrong’ side of the tracks. “It’s actually his best fruit,” he quips.