Monday, 3 August 2020

Changing of the guard at venerable Australian wine producer

Courtney Treacher has been named senior winemaker at Western Australia’s historic Houghton Wines following the departure of long-serving winemaker Ross Pamment.


The appointment comes as Houghton announces a partnership with boutique winery Brookland Valley, which is also part of the Accolade Wines portfolio, to combine their cellar door operations in the heart of the Margaret River region.

Pamment leaves Houghton after almost 21 years of continuous service and a 30-year association with the brand.

As senior winemaker, he was responsible for multiple award-winning wines and was named
winemaker of the year in Ray Jordan’s 17th annual West Australian Wine Guide in 2017.

Treacher will become only the 13th senior winemaker in Houghton’s 180-year history. She has worked with Pamment for 17 vintages, starting out as a vintage cellar hand in 2004. 

Working across Houghton, Brookland Valley and Moondah Brook (all Accolade Wines brands), she became vintage assistant winemaker, then assistant winemaker and then winemaker in 2007.

“I love making all our wines – from producing a fresh and consistent Houghton White Classic year in and year out to making the 2013 Gladstones Cabernet Sauvignon,” she said. 

“It’s a privilege to be the custodian for so many much-loved labels and I thank Ross for all his guidance and support.”

As part of the partnership with Brookland Valley, Houghton will switch its Swan Valley cellar door operations to the Brookland Valley site, offering tourists and visitors access to two leading Western Australian wine brands in the one location.

 
The established Brookland Valley facility overlooks the vineyards and is next door to the award-winning Flutes restaurant. 

Margaret River is one of fastest-growing wine tourism regions in Australia and is the epicentre of Western Australian wine. With more than 2.3 million visitors per year, it is the third-most-visited wine region in Australia by international visitors.

The cellar door partnership follows Accolade Wines’ strategic decision in 2019 to consolidate all of its Western Australian winery operations at the Nannup winery. 

Houghton, which released its first commercial vintage in 1859, will continue to own and produce all wines under its label. 

“We will continue to craft vibrant and unique expressions, bringing to life Western Australia’s vast terroir to offer consumers high-quality, award-winning wines that truly reflect their origins,” said Treacher. 

Accolade’s portfolio includes St Hallett, Petaluma, House of Arras, Houghton, Grant Burge Wines and Banrock Station (Australia), Waipara Hills and Mud House (New Zealand), Echo Falls (US), Kumala & Flagstone (South Africa), and Viña Anakena (Chile).

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