MEET THE WINEMAKER
Alan Varney, or AV as he is known to his friends, caught the wine bug at an early age. After meeting his future wife Kathrin as a young man while backpacking around the world, he chased her to her home town of Berlin and started tasting his way through the world of wine. The vinous seed was planted. When the couple arrived in Australia Alan enrolled in a Winemaking degree at Melbourne University and started working vintages in country Victoria.
The couple’s two sons, Morris and Winston, were born in Melbourne but when they were young babies the family chased the wine bug and shifted to Adelaide to pursue a grape based future. Stints at Orlando in the Barossa, vineyard work in the Adelaide Hills, and time at Longview Wines in Macclesfield led to a casual vintage job at d’Arenberg. What was meant to be a three month vintage role turned into an eleven vintage odyssey with Alan climbing the ranks to Winemaker. Living some overseas vintages in Portugal, California, and New York gave Alan further insights into the amazingly diverse world of wine.
In 2015 Alan and Kathrin happened upon a block of land at the Gateway to McLaren Vale on which an old derelict shearing shed stood. They knew it would perfectly suit a small winery, cellar door, brewery and restaurant. With the help of countless supporters, friends, and amazing colleagues, their dream came true and the doors were open in 2018.
The Varney’s had been making their own wines on the side for many years. Their first ‘tonne for fun’ was made in the 2010 vintage from Shiraz grapes handpicked by the family in Clarendon, a beautiful vineyard they continue to source from. Before long, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Touriga, Cabernet, Nebbiolo, Fiano, Semillon, Chardonnay, and Verdelho all found their way into the Varney Wines ranges.
Officially launching his wines under the Varney Wines name is the culmination of a lifelong journey. It is a journey which Alan is keen to continue with the help and support of his great team, family, and everyone who enjoys a glass of Varney Wines.