Location: Ballandean, Granite Belt Wine Country, Queensland
What made you decide to become a winemaker?
“I fell in love with fine wine and fine food in my mid to late 20’s. To dine in any amazing venue and taste wine and food that was above the ordinary was really special.
My previous career offered none of that, so instead chasing criminals for 21 years as a law enforcement officer, I decided to chase my passion.”
What did your introduction to winemaking look like?
“My very first wine vintage was in McLaren Vale S.A. in 2005. 12 hour shifts which stretched out to 14 hours normally. My first introduction to Coopers Pale Ale at the end of every shift.”
Did you have a career before?
“I spent 21 years chasing criminals as a QLD Police Officer, mostly as a Detective with many Major Crime Squads and External Law Enforcement Agencies. The best part of that job was the people I worked with.”
What does your day-to-day actually look like?
“Where do I start? 7 days a week! We operate not only the vineyard and winemaking facilities, but also the Hidden Creek Café. On top of that, I make wines for other clients on site and off site. I have a lot happening in my working life, but it is diverse and exciting!”
Do you have a favourite product, or one you are most excited about?
“Tempranillo! This variety has been hugely successful for Hidden Creek as we have won many awards. Dark cherry flavours, ripe chewy tannin structure, and long line and persistence of fruit flavour. Respect for the fruit with underlying oak is the secret. Our 2018 Tempranillo was just awarded 95 Points GOLD by Halliday Wine Companion.”
Do you have a favourite tool in your trade, that you just couldn’t live/work without?
“My forklift, I can use it for so many operations in the winery. Also very helpful to lift the ride-on mower on it’s side to change the mower blades.”
What do you wish everyone knew about your products?
“They are small batch production. There is only a limited quantity for sale. Handcrafted, artisan produced with passion and precision.”
When you’re not winemaking, what do you like to do out and about on the Granite Belt?
Visit my Granddaughter who was born October 2019
Where can we find you Andy, can visitors expect to meet you at the cellar door?
“Oh Yes! I serve at the front counter and you will often be greeted by me!”