With the 2019 Barossa vintage now complete, second generation sibling winemakers, Rolf Binder and Christa Deans have good reason to celebrate.
It’s been 25 years since Christa joined her brother as the white winemaker for the family business, growing the white wine production while Rolf continued to focus on red winemaking. Reaching this milestone is a truly unique and rare accomplishment within the wine industry.
Christa and Rolf were exposed to winemaking from a very early age, forking out fermenters, picking grapes and pruning vines. They went on to study Oenology at Roseworthy College, juggling studies with iresponsibilities in the winery, working under the careful supervision of their mother.
In 1982, Christa joined the winemaking team at Wolf Blass Wines, being mentored by John Glaetzer, David Wardlaw, Stephen John, and Chris Hatcher, as her area of expertise developed in white wine and sparkling wine production.
With a broader knowledge, Christa returned to Veritas Winery in 1994 to help Rolf with the rapidly growing family business and to also expand the wine portfolio. Working side by side, they have taken the business to another level in the new winery they built on Seppeltsfield Road, and jointly earned the Barossa ‘Winemaker of the Year’ award from the Barons of the Barossa in 2005.
After learning much from their parents and decades in the wine industry, Rolf and Christa have incorporated many changes into the business, taking it from simple fortified wine production in a rustic tin shed to producing acclaimed wines in a modern winery, with dramatic growth in estate vineyard and varieties planted.
Rolf says “to be honest, we don’t think much about having worked together for so long. We just get on with it! We have always trusted one another and we each do our own thing. We learned a lot about working hard from our parents but we’ve also been fortunate to have had great support from long-term domestic and international partners, loyal customers and our staff.”
When Christa is asked if there’s ever any rivalry between them, she says “the only rivalry we have is whose tomatoes ripen fastest!”
The family will celebrate this anniversary milestone with key contributors and stake holders later in the year.
Photo Credit: Andrea Jacob Photography