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Monday 11 October 2021

Winds of change blowing at Voyager Estate

Steve James, a key driver of Voyager Estate's success for over two decades, will stand down from his role as Head of Winemaking and Viticulture next month. 

James will transition into a regional viticultural consulting role. 

After 23 years with the company, James has said he will continue to work closely with the production team in his new capacity, including assisting in finalising the organic conversion of the company's vineyards by 2023.

He will also work with other wine growers and producers across the region.

“It is with immense pride and appreciation that I am departing my current role," James said. 

"Following nearly 24 amazing years at Voyager Estate, first as viticulturist and for the past 13 years as Head of Winemaking and Viticulture, I feel the time is right for me to embrace my long-held personal ambition and move into the viticulture consulting sphere, with a specialised focus on organic, sustainable and regenerative farming practices.

“I am extremely grateful for the opportunities that Voyager Estate has provided me with, and to move forward with the knowledge that we have developed a terrific team of people who are committed to and passionate about continuing the journey of making exceptional Margaret River wines. 

"My close links with Voyager Estate will continue as consultant viticulturist, where I will continue working with the team on its pathway to sustainably crafting wines with a true sense of place.”

Steve cites organic farming as one of the key reasons Voyager Estate has been able to continually improve fruit quality and create fine wines. 

Voyager Estate owner Alexandra Burt acknowledged the legacy that James has created and that he will continue to play a pivotal role in carrying the business through an exciting new phase of transition and growth.

“I am so proud of how Steve has integrated the winemaking and viticulture at Voyager Estate," she said. 

"I am grateful to him for his commitment, leadership and no-fuss approach to work and life that have made him many friends during his more than two decades with us. 

"We are delighted that Steve will remain connected to the Voyager family. We know his expertise, particularly in sustainability and organics, will be much-sought-after and we are delighted to be able to support him as he embarks on this new chapter in his career.”

No news yet on the next chief winemaker.
“Thanks to the exceptional team that Steve has built over the years, we have the luxury of time in terms of recruitment and will be taking a considered approach to ensure we continue to build the right team for our next chapter,” Burt said.

Voyager Estate produces organically-farmed, 100% estate-grown wines. 

Since planting its first vines in 1978, it has made a long-term commitment to sustainability with the goal of ultimately becoming a carbon-neutral business. 

With nearly 90 hectares of vines already officially Australian Certified Organic (ACO), the remainder are set to achieve full Certified Organic status by 2023.


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