One of the top Pinot Noir winemakers in Australia
Phillip left his corporate life to travel the world, working with world-class winemakers to learn how to make the best Pinot Noir he possibly could.
For 18 years, he lovingly tended his grapes, crafted stunning wines and built up a Halliday 5-star winery, making arguably one of the country's finest Pinot Noir wines.
When he found himself having to start from the ground up again, he sourced premium fruit from one of the best vineyards in the Yarra Valley, borrowed Sam Plunkett’s sheds, and is crafting his exquisite Pinot Noir once again. But only for us!
Phillip’s been a Pinot Noir devotee since 1985, when a glass of 1982 DRC La Tache — one of the most sought-after wines in the world — changed everything for him.
It lit a fire in his belly to grow those perfect little black grapes and turn them into the most glorious wine.
So he immersed himself in the ancient art of Pinot Noir growing and winemaking. He travelled the world and lapped up vintages in France and the USA, working with other world-class winemakers as he learnt how to make the best damned Pinot Noir he possibly could.
Who would have predicted he was on the way to 5-star winery status!
In 1992, Phillip planted his first vineyard in the rich red volcanic soils of the Macedon Ranges of Victoria. He called it Curly Flat.
Over the next 18 years, he lovingly tended his grapes, crafted stunning wines and built Curly Flat into a Halliday 5-star winery, making arguably one of the country's finest Pinot Noir wines.
Wine writer Jancis Robinson wrote of his 2004 Pinot “Is there a better 2004 Pinot anywhere?”
But Phillip had to walk away from his beloved vineyard and winery when he and his ex-wife and business partner parted ways. In 2017, he reluctantly handed over Curly Flat to her and walked away from the precious vines he’d established and tended for so many years.
Undefeated, Phillip was determined to start again. And luckily he didn’t have to look far. He found a special plot of land where he could grow awesome grapes near Trentham, not far from Curly Flat as the crow flies.
But it’s a long time between drinks when you’re establishing a vineyard.
Phillip wouldn’t have any fruit for years, let alone the facilities to make wine. A tale he shared with his winemaking buddy over lunch one day.
But this wasn’t just any winemaker. Luckily for Phillip, it was our very own Naked Winemaker Sam Plunkett! Sam urged Phillip to pick up the phone and chat with me to see what we could work out.
And Naked Angels came to the rescue once again!
With our blessing, he sourced premium fruit from one of the best vineyards in the Yarra Valley, borrowed Sam’s sheds, and was on the way to crafting his exquisite Pinot Noir once again.
He’s called his phoenix wine ‘Straight Up’.
When you buy this wine, you’ll be helping Phillip set up his new winery and continue creating amazing wine for you for years to come.
Phillip 's Archangels
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