Friday 6 December 2019

Michael Fragos ‘fully committed’ to Chapel Hill following Woolies’ buyout

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Chapel Hill chief winemaker and CEO Michael Fragos says he is going nowhere following the acquisition of the elite winery from Endeavour Drinks, a division of Woolworths.

“I’m not going anywhere,” Michael says.

“Bryn (Richards) and Rachel (Steer) are also staying.

“We’ve been working with Endeavour for five years. They’re good, loyal, honourable people. They have told us they love what we do and said let’s work together. It was important for us to hear that. We are grateful to be able to do what we love doing.”

Swiss billionaire Thomas Schmidheiny had owned Chapel Hill since 2000. He has never been there, but his daughter has.

“We’ve always approached it as if it’s our own business anyway,” says Michael.

“We come to work each morning and see the old chapel built in 1865 and the beautiful stain glass window and the views to the ocean… it’s a special place. It’s all the inspiration we need to do our best.”

Michael has been at Chapel Hill since 2004. The winery was established in 1971.

The purchase includes the famous Chapel Hill cellar door, which incorporates an ironstone chapel built in 1865, together with associated buildings and 40 hectares under vine.

• This is an edited version of a story that appeared in our Friday ebulletin The Week That Was.

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