TEACHER turned winemaker Adrian Munari will be looking to school the competition at this year’s Saint Martin Heathcote Wine Show.
He hopes to pick up where he left off last year, where he collected top honours for his Granache Rosé and picked up a gold medal for his Schoolhouse Red.
This year, Munari Wines will enter its 2013 and 2015 Ladies Pass Shiraz and the 2015 India Red Cabernet Sauvignon.
It’s a family affair at Munari Wines, with Mr Munari, his wife Deborah and their children Beauregard and India all playing a part in developing the award-winning brand.
In 1992 Mr Munari and his family purchased the vineyard near Heathcote and began their new lives as winemakers.
And while he has enjoyed every day of life as a winemaker, Mr Munari admitted switching eraser for éraflage has been a tough gig.
“It was a steep learning curve,” he said.
“In the beginning my goal was to grow quality grapes and the winemaking grew from there.
“We’ve been making wine for a long time now and we’re still learning.”
Mr Munari said it was his experience with winemaking as a child that encouraged him to make a career change.
“I have an Italian background and I watched my grandfather making wine. I used to help him as a kid,” he said.
“I got into the barrel and helped crush the grapes. That great memory has always stayed with me.
“Teaching is something I had done for a long time and I loved working outdoors, so I decided to take the plunge and give winemaking a go.
“I always wanted to be my own boss and now I walk 20 metres out my door and I’m at work.”
While he’s pleased with the excellent feedback from judges at the show, Mr Munari said the Heathcote wine region is the show’s big winner.
“It’s a really positive event that acknowledges the quality of the wine in our area,” he said.
“It brings people to the region and reinforces the wine culture we have.”
The annual St Martin Heathcote Wine Show kicks off tomorrow, with judging to take place at the Heathcote RSL Hall. Presentation of trophies and awards will be on Friday.