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Saturday 14 October 2023

Rising Hunter Valley star takes on project in Victoria

Alex Beckett, one of the rising stars of the Hunter Valley wine industry, is heading for Victoria.

Beckett (above) has been appointed winemaker at Marnong Estate in the Sunbury wine region, just up the road from Melbourne Airport.

He has been making some outstanding wines at Briar Ridge, but was enticed south by the Marnong Estate challenge.

"I got approached for a new role at Marnong Estate," he told GOTR this morning. "They have lofty goals of high-end chardonnay and pinot noir in Sunbury as well as sangiovese and nebbiolo.

"They are keen to work with me in regenerative farming and sustainable operations - a very exciting move for me. I had seven years of rewarding challenges at Briar Ridge surrounded by great people and lifelong friends."

Beckett will oversee new plantings at Marnong Estate - which is in the same region as Craiglee and Goona Warra - as well as the completion of a new high-tech on-site winery in time for the 2024 vintage. 

Marnong wines have recently been made off site by consultant winemaker Sandrine Gimon. 

Historic Marnong Estate dates back almost 200 years and is a working cattle and sheep property on 480 hectares with a cellar door, functions centre and restaurants, as well as boutique accommodation. The first vines were planted in 2016. 

The description of the winemaker job read: "Marnong’s inaugural winemaker will be the key driver of wine quality and culture for the emerging brand, from the estate’s 12-hectare cool-climate vineyard to its extensive tourist and hospitality venues.

"Responsible for crafting the estate wines in the architecturally designed and high-spec winery, due for completion for vintage 2024, this role will also take ownership of the final fit-out and commissioning of the facility."

Image: Young Guns of Wine

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