Top Dog, and Chief Coffee Maker
In my 20’s I helped dad set up and manage our family vineyards, whilst studying a Bachelor of Business and Property. In 2000, I was awarded the Geoffrey Roberts Award for innovations in the wine industry.
Sideline obsessions include; creating art with my two little girls, photography, music, and innovation and design.
Without doubt the luckiest guy ever, as my passion became my business. I’ll get a real job soon. Unlikely though.
Director, and Chief Financial Officer
My offsider, and possibly one of the most beautiful people in the world, inside and out.
Before Koonara, Nicole worked for the Hyatt Hotel chain, where she spent years abroad working her way up through the ranks. Her last job was the Conference Manager at the 6-star Park Hyatt in Melbourne.
Buster The Wonder Dog
Official Welcoming Committee
Our little Jack Russel/Fox Terrier dog who eagerly greets visitors as they come into our Cellar Door.
Buster is famous, you may have seen him in an addition of ‘Wine Dogs’, and he starred in The Big Beg advert to raises money for RSPCA. You will see him right at the end, 58 seconds in. Very cute. He is always happy to meet new visitors, and reunite with familiar faces.
What more can be said about the great man – former head Winemaker at Wynns in Coonawarra for 15 years, he spent vintages in Bordeaux with ‘Chateau Leoville Barton’, Napa Valley with Constellation, both Sicily and Tunisia with ‘Casa Vinicola Calatrasi’ and ‘Puglia’ before returning back home to Coonawarra.
A good family friend, and we are privileged to have him as our winemaker. Something not many people know is, our super premium Head Honcho, Cabernet Sauvignon is named after him.
Limestone Coast Sales Account Manager
Irish born, Jen has worked in hospitality for over fourteen years. She lost her accent quickly (you have to in Australia) working long hours in Adelaide and Cairns, before moving to Penola for love. Lucky us!
A passionate wine lover, who learnt all she knows from her dad who has worked in the wine industry for decades. Jen also covers the Limestone Coast as our Sales Manager, servicing a number of bottleshops and restaurants.
Office & Logistics Manager
Behind every good brand there is a great manager, and Careena our efficient Office Manager makes sure everything runs smoothly in all parts of the business.
Born in Mount Gambier, she has returned to region after a stint in the UK. Her favourite wine is a good cool-climate Pinot Noir.
Creative and Marketing Director
Born 30 mins down the road in Naracoorte, Sally made the move from Sydney to Penola in 2013, to escape the ‘rat race’. She has worked 11 years in London, Sydney and Adelaide as a Senior Graphic Designer in Marketing and Communications for Vodafone, Lidl, and SALife Magazine.
She is married to Jamie, a local Penola boy. Her favourite wine is The Head Honcho Cabernet Sauvignon 2012.
She is currently on maternity leave.
Creative and Marketing Manager
Based in Mount Gambier, Caitlin is a former journalist turned marketing professional.
A lover of a good shiraz and a good laugh among friends. Caitlin runs a farm in Western Victoria with her partner Sam and their two dogs, Demi and Rex.
Koonara's Cellar Door Manager
Kate wants to stress she is no relation to THE Katie Perry. She moved to Penola from Horsham, with her partner, a local Penola boy.
Kate has had years of experience working in hospitality and retail, and is a wiz in the Cellar Door. Her secret talent is dancing, and she loves entertaining friends and family.
Cellar Door & Office Administration and Logistics Assistant
Amanda moved to the Limestone Coast 10 years ago after working as a para-legal in Adelaide. She married Daniel, a local farmer in 2011 and has three spunky daughters.
Amanda is Koonara’s talented ‘jack of all trades’ – a bubbly face in the Cellar Door and also helping with Office Administration and Logistics.
She fills her spare time teaching a community based dance class for children in Penola aged 3-12.