Robert Oatley Vineyards (ROV) has confirmed the appointment of two new winemakers based at its Mudgee winery.
Following the departure of Rob and Pia Merrick, who moved to Victoria earlier this year to pursue other career options, Debbie Lauritz has been appointed head winemaker – Mudgee, supported by David Richards, both of whom moved to Mudgee earlier this year when ROV began processing for Cumulus Wines at the family’s Montrose Winery.
An experienced wine show judge, Debbie has been the senior winemaker at Cumulus for the past decade where she has developed an affinity for cool climate winemaking and the regions of the Central West NSW. She has also worked in Alsace, Marlborough and Niagara (Canada).
“This augers well for ROV,” says director of winemaking Larry Cherubino.
“Debbie will be working with a wide range of regions from across the country – she is a very experienced and talented winemaker. Additionally, her off-sider David Richards, is a terrific new appointment.”
Debbie said: “I’m looking forward to working in a company with such diversity of brands, across different wine regions – from Margaret River to Mudgee. I’m excited to be a part of the great team at Mudgee – being involved in the whole process from vineyard through to bottling.”
Launched in 2006, Robert Oatley Vineyards marks the Oatley family’s return to winemaking. The Robert Oatley, Wild Oats, pocketwatch and Montrose wines (among others) are made by Larry Cherubino and his team from grapes grown on their family-owned vineyards in Mudgee and Margaret River as well as from growers around the country.
Their wines are distributed direct by the Oatley’s sales team Oatley Fine Wine Merchants, to fine wine retail and on-premise accounts Australia-wide. They operate two cellar doors: Craigmoor Wines at Mudgee (specialising in wines from their local vineyards) and Robert Oatley Margaret River.