Following completion of the Wine Marketing course at Roseworthy Agricultural College, Mike commenced his career in the wine industry as a wine marketer. In 1994, Mike embarked on a more ‘hands on’ role and worked the vintage at Andrew Garrett Wines under the watchful eye of wine industry legend Warren Randall. It was working for Warren over the next three years where Mike decided that a career in Winemaking was his forte.
In 1997 he moved to d’Arenberg to work with Chester Osborn and his experience at d’Arenberg impacted significantly on his winemaking direction. Whilst at d’Arenberg, Andrew, Mike’s brother-in-law to be, approached Mike to make the first vintage of Gemtree Shiraz.
In 1999 Mike undertook further study to complete a post-graduate diploma in Oenology at University of Adelaide. At this time the winemaking of Gemtree was transferred to Kangarilla Road Winery where Mike was responsible for overseeing over 700 tonnes of processing. In 2000 and 2001 Mike completed vintages in the South of France and he and Melissa travelled extensively through France, Italy and Spain to further their knowledge on an international scale.
Since 2005, the growth of Gemtree demanded that Mike’s role take on an additional Sales and Marketing focus and along with Managing Director and brother-in-law, Andrew, he now travels extensively throughout Australia and overseas promoting the Gemtree brand.
In addition to his Gemtree responsibilities, Mike is a consultant winemaker to Doc Adams, Lady Bay Vineyard and CARTeSIAN, each of which has it’s own unique product range.