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Thursday 21 May 2020

Sad farewell to a rising star on the Tasmanian wine scene

Vaughn Dell did things his way. 

As an Australian Rules footballer and a winemaker, Dell was happy to break the mould.

Tasmanian-born and bred, he founded Sinapius Wines, along with his partner Linda Morice. He died this week at the age of 39. 

He was one of the most innovative members of the Tasmanian wine industry - and one of the nicest people you could hope to meet.

Injuries prevented the former Burnie Docker and Tassie Mariner from making the grade as an AFL footballer, but he and Morice built a formidable reputation for the quality of wines from their Sinapius vineyard at Pipers River in the north of the state.

Their close-planted vines produce wines of intensity and the big guy with a big smile also built long-time friendships.

Dell passed away on the morning of May 19 from what appears to be an undiagnosed heart-related medical condition. He left Linda, and two young daughters, Clem and Esme.

"At just 39 years old, Vaughn was already regarded as one of the Tasmanian wine sector’s leaders, with he and Linda having an impressive 16 years of experience at Sinapius following their purchase of the Pipers River vineyard when they were both just 23 years old," said Wine Tasmania CEO Sheralee Davies.

"Together with Linda, Vaughn’s relentless desire to learn and excel is reflected in the meticulous Sinapius vineyard and wines. Never one to do things the easy way or follow others, Vaughn constantly investigated, learnt, experimented and applied techniques to grow and craft wines that expressed their unique site, and for which he and Linda have gained a cult following and much respect from their peers.

"We'll all miss Vaughn for his curiosity, generosity, positive attitude, determination, big smile, infectious laugh and obsession with gamay, clones and the latest machinery for high-density plantings. 

"We've not only lost a friend, but the whole Tasmanian wine community has lost a very bright light far too soon.

"Vaughn will be sorely missed but not forgotten. Our thoughts are with Linda, the girls and their families."

Linda and Vaughn's families have arranged to have Vaughn's funeral live broadcast on Tuesday, May 
26 at 2.30pm. 

The link for the service is via Finneys Funerals.

Raise a glass to Vaughn - and, If inclined, you might like to jump on to the Sinapius website to buy some wine. A devastated young family could do with all the help it can get right now.


  1. How sad to read this and we will buy some of their wines and raise a glass for Vaughn.

  2. All our Love Linda..Marie & Bernie

  3. With an AFL career cut short, Vaughn became a much loved and admired wine industry player who left his mark in so many different ways.