Peter Bissell

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BSc Hons (1st Class) in Biochemistry 1982. Graduate Diploma in Oenology & Viticulture 1988, Roseworthy College, South Australia. Pete began winemaking as part of his honors thesis, looking at colour extraction in Pinot Noir wines in the new cool climate region of Canterbury, New Zealand in 1981 and 1982.

Pete then spent a year and a half in France working as assistant oenologist for A Moueix et Fils in Libourne Bordeaux, who owned Ch. Fonplegade (St Emilion) and Chateau Moulinet (Pomerol), amongst others. He also worked in the laboratory and tasting rooms outside vintage and in the cellars during the 1985 vintage. The next 3 years were spent at Roseworthy College, completing a graduate diploma in 1988. During this time Pete worked the 1987 vintage with Adam Wynn at Mountadam, then with Gerry Sissingh at Lindemans Hunter River, John Vickery at Leo Burings and Andrew Pirie at Pipers Brook in 1988.

Pete was appointed Wynns winemaker in 1989 working at Wynns Coonawarra Estate with Peter Douglas until 1995. Peter did vintages as a flying winemaker for Penfolds in Russia (1993), for the Laperouse project in the South of France (1994), worked in the Coteaux de Languedoc and visited Bordeaux in (2000). Pete visited Tuscany and in particular Bolgheri in (2006), The Willamette Valley in Oregon in (2012) and Central Otago in (2015).

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.

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Sangria, Fun & Games on the Lawn @ Balnaves

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