Merchants Lair Winery Story
Merchant’s Lair winery history began in the early 1950’s when the Blefari family brought along their ancestral grape planting skill from Italy to the Adelaide Hills wine region. Presently the family owns and runs runs one of the best vineyards in the Adelaide hills and has kept producing their traditional hand crafted wine. With a close relationship with the wine marker Peter Hill they have created many of the best wines in the country. Merchants Lair Wines can be bought from our Melbourne wine shop.
Merchant’s Lair Winemaker :Peter Hill
Grew up in Adelaide where he was surrounded by Australia greatest wine region. His talent for wine making was seen at a very young age as at 13 he had made his first wine. Peter then went on to fulfill his ambition of being a winemaker by a gaining a Bachelor of Science Degree and a Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics Degree from Flinders University, South Australia. He then went on to improve his knowledge of international wine by studying the Higher Certificate in Wines and Spirits through the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, UK.
Through a fellow student an opportunity presented itself and following a job interview over a bottle of Rioja he became a winemaker’s assistant in Romania in 1994 making wine for the British market. When the winemaker he was working with in Romania unexpectedly left early for a vintage in England, Peter found himself the sole winemaker in the middle of vintage. It was where he began to develop his skills at an instinctive level and call on his early experiments with wine making at 13.
Peter then took on a role in the laboratory, cellar and bottling line in Leiwen, near the Mosel River in Germany, followed by another Romanian vintage making wine for the River Route label.
His talent did not go unnoticed as he was offered a job as a flying winemaker in his own right consulting and making wine internationally where he worked in the foothills of the Andes in Cafayate, Argentina and later in Bordeaux, France.
He put his career on hold when he went to do a post graduate degree in winemaking from the Waite Campus of Adelaide University, whilst working at the Adelaide Hills winery, Hillstowe. Peter now has been producing Adelaide Hill wines for the last ten year and has developed an understanding on how to bring the best out of Adelaide Hills climate.
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