General ManagerREAD MORE
Doug was born in Penola and attended the Penola Area School. Although his initial working life was spent in the Sheep Industry he became involved in the wine industry in 1971 when he was offered the position of Development Manager of the vineyard to be developed in Coonawarra by Hungerford Hill. After 17 years with Hungerford Hill he left that company to establish a vineyard development and management company in 1988.
In 1990 their two children Kirsty and Peter joined Doug and his wife Annette in the business. Doug has been involved in various state and local bodies representing the wine industry including SA Wine & Brandy Association, Limestone Coast Wine Industry Council, Phylloxera Board and inaugural President of the Coonawarra Vignerons Association. He is a life member of the Penola Pipe Band and past president of the Coonawarra Guinea Pig Racing Association.
Annette BalnavesREAD MORE
After working in her career as a nursing Sister in Australia and overseas, Annette married Doug and settled in Coonawarra in 1967. For many years she was part of the Cellar Door Sales group at Balnaves. Annette relinquished much of this work in 1998 when she took on the formidable task of Chair of the Limestone Coast Tourism Association. Annette’s efforts for tourism were recognised when she received the Harry Dowling Award. This award is made to people who have made an outstanding contribution to tourism.
Annette’s spare time was occupied as Grandmother/Babysitter to her four grandchildren as well as pursuing her passion for photography.
Sadly, Annette passed away from Cancer in July 2018. The family business and Coonawarra region simply wouldn’t be where it is today without Annette’s commitment and dedication.
Pete was also born in Penola, and on completing his education he worked for a Mildura winery and then returned to Balnaves in 1990. He is the Vineyard manager for Balnaves Vineyard services P/L and is currently responsible for some 550 Ha of vineyards in Coonawarra, including the Balnaves vineyards. Pete has been the chairman of the Coonawarra Grape Growers Association and Chair of the technical committee of the Limestone coast wine Industry Council. Pete is married to Amelia and they have two young sons, Hugo and Ned.
Business ManagerREAD MORE
Kirsty was born in Penola, and after finishing her education in Adelaide she spent time in Broken Hill and then in Tasmania at Cradle Mountain. Returning to Adelaide, Kirsty attended university where she studied Business Management and Marketing. In 1990, Kirsty joined the family company and is currently responsible for the financial aspects of vineyard management and contracting, winery contracting and making and selling Balnaves wines. Kirsty is the current President of the South Australian Wine Industry Association after serving on the Board since 2013. Kirsty was also Member of the Coonawarra Vigneron’s Association Executive for 15 years, including a period as Vice President, she is also a Board member of the Penola and District Community Bank – Bendigo Bank, Volunteer for Meals on Wheels and volunteer on the Penola Community Wellness committee.
Kirsty has been a past member of the Lower South East Water Resources Committee, past member of the Penola and District Medical Support Group, past committee member of the Penola and District Little Athletics and Penola Netball Club.
In 2018 Kirsty was named as a finalist in the Australian Women in Wine Owner-Operator of the Year Awards. The award recognises “the ladies who run the show”– wine business owners or operators who have made an outstanding contribution to their business in the Australian wine industry.
Her weekends are full of farming with Will, Ellie & Annie, a revived horse riding interest and the odd chook auction.
Jacinta Jenkins (JJ)
Jacinta Jenkins (JJ)
Jacinta Jenkins (JJ)
Jacinta (JJ) grew up in Coonawarra, then followed her interest in science to complete a BSc in Biochemistry (Hons) at Monash University, Melbourne. During her honours project she realised she didn’t enjoy being cooped up in a laboratory, so worked a Vintage in Coonawarra while deciding what to do. This launched her interest in wine and led her to a complete a number of vintages both in Australia (Wynns Coonawarra Estate, Balnaves of Coonawarra) and overseas (Ch. St Michelle, Washington State; Craggy Range, Hawke’s Bay; Dr Loosen, Mosel Valley; Penner-Ash Wine Cellars, Oregon). JJ continued on to the University of Adelaide to complete a Post Graduate Diploma of Viticulture & Oenology in 2016, before securing a full-time position at Pikes Wines, Clare Valley as Assistant Winemaker.
In 2018 she returned to Balnaves as Assistant Winemaker. Working with one of the best Winemakers in the country, Pete Bissell, JJ learnt invaluable knowledge within the winemaking world, leading up to Pete’s retirement from Balnaves in June 2020. She will be lucky enough to have Pete nearby to mentor her though the next coming Vintage of 2022.
Outside of her Winemaking commitments, JJ is involved with the Rural Ambassador program for SA Country Shows, volunteers for a few local community organisations and plays football for Penola. She enjoys hiking, drinking wine, cooking/eating and reading in her spare time.
Consultant WinemakerREAD MORE
Pete joined Balnaves in 1995 to design and oversee construction of the winery and take over winemaking.
In 2005 Pete was named the Qantas / Gourmet Traveller Winemaker of the Year. In 2008 Balnaves was James Halliday’s Winery of the Year. In 2015 Balnaves The Tally 2010 was poured at the New York Wine experience (the top 250 wineries in the world)
Pete is the lead author of the “Australian Winemaking” textbook Red Wine Chapter, along with Stephen Henschke, Fiona Donald, Corey Ryan and Nick Bulleid, published in 2013. 2018 will be Petes 30th vintage in Coonawarra and 38th vintage. Pete has judged at 37 Australian Wine Shows.
In 2018 Pete was named Australian Society of Viticulture & Oenology (ASVO) Winemaker of the Year. Pete retired in June 2020, but continues to work with JJ at Balnaves on a casual basis consulting.
Team BalnavesREAD MORE
Next time you visit our Wine room, you will be greeted by one of our smiling faces. Meet the Wine Room & office girls! We all love a wine and a chat! Hope to see you soon.
Laura, Ellie & Team Balnaves.