My family has been grape-growing and winemaking for hundreds of years. We hail from the north of Lebanon, and have owned vineyards there for generations. My mother’s family immigrated to Australia in the 1870s, settling in Braidwood, and set up agricultural enterprises around the Riverina area of New South Wales. These are still operating today. My father immigrated to Australia in 1956, initially setting up a shoe repair business in Sydney. In 1977, he started one of the Hunter Valley’s first boutique wineries.
I started working in the family business during the school holidays, and quickly developed a love of winemaking. I went on to study winemaking and viticulture at Charles Sturt University (twice), and have worked full-time in the wine industry since 1991.
I have worked at large and small wineries – and everything in between – across a diverse range of grape varieties, winemaking techniques and wine styles.
My winemaking adventures have taken me to South-East Asia and the southern Rhône Valley, as well as Australia’s Hunter Valley, Yarra Valley, McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek.
My love of Syrah and Chardonnay led me to the cooler climes of Orange in 2012, where these two varieties thrive, and after working as the winemaker at the region’s biggest winery for four years, I made the move to start my own boutique wine label, Atallah Wines.