Meet The Owner:
Meet Tim Davis of Carillion Wines, located in Mount View (Hunter Valley), NSW
Tell Us A Little Something About Yourself
My dad, John was originally a geologist, however he used his knowledge gained through that profession to carefully select special locations that were perfect for wine grape growing. This developed a generational taste for wine growing, and has been our family business ever since.
I grew up spending a lot of time on the vineyard, which to be honest is still where I love spending most of my time. My wife Cath and I have two young sons, Felix and Hugo, who love being on the vineyard, riding old tractors just as much as their dad.
What Inspired You To Start Your Own Business?
I grew up in the family business of wine and always planned to return, but I wanted to get some experience outside of the industry first. I studied Agricultural Economics, including gaining my PhD at Sydney Uni and worked in banking before being fortunate enough to take over the reins of the boutique arm of the family business in 2012.
Initially called ‘Davis Premium Vineyards’, Carillion Wines started when my father picked out very special parcels of our vines to make premium wines that express the variety and origins of the grapes we use to make them. I’ve also been able to develop our Lovable Rogue ‘Italian Jobs’ – wine made with Italian varieties using adventurous techniques!
What Does Your Business Offer, And What Makes It Unique?
Premium wines including exciting Italian varieties, great views and a warm welcome to your four-legged furry (dog) friends!
We offer fantastic views over our vineyards – a truly special location for wine tasting. You can even buy wine by the glass and enjoy a lovely afternoon with friends looking over the vines.
We help you taste without the travel! You can come to our Hunter Valley cellar door and taste premium Hunter wines, but we also offer cool-climate wines from Orange, NSW, and bigger reds from Wrattonbully in South Australia.
And our Lovable Rogues…come and try for yourself! Italian varieties are really taking off in Australia at the moment, but we’ve been growing them for years! Our climate really suits the wines and they’re fabulous with food.
What Does Your Journey Look Like?
I grew up in the vineyard and in the business. From an early age I guess I absorbed a lot of knowledge about wine…through osmosis, rather than drinking it!
Going off to study and do my own thing was important for me, both to learn new skills to apply to the business and to work out that the wine industry was where I wanted to be long-term.
Did You Always Think You'd Be Doing This?
I probably had a good inkling that I’d be doing this, though perhaps I didn’t know exactly what shape my role would take.
It’s very different from the Sydney commute and my work in the world of banking and economics, which was great in many ways, but I always felt the call of the vineyard.
My dream job as a kid probably involved driving tractors, so whilst it’s only one part of what I do, I’m lucky enough to be able to do that and call it work!
What Are The Most Rewarding And Challenging Parts Of Your Job And Owning Your Own Business?
It’s always exciting when our hard work pays off with awards and great ratings. We’ve just been awarded 5 Red Stars in Halliday’s 2021 Wine Companion- the top rating for a winery - with 17 of our wines rated 90+.
Saying that, I probably feel most rewarded when people really enjoy our wines, especially when they discover something new or create a special memory with something we have produced.
The challenges…well, as any parent knows, juggling parenting and working is a challenge! This plus being on the move a lot of the time between the vineyards and home means I probably get less sleep than I’d like!
I love a great coffee too though, so that helps!
Whats Your End Goal? The Moment You'll Know You've Achieved What You Want To?
That’s a tough one!
I don’t know that there is just one end goal. I'm not about world domination, I just want to make great wine and share it with as many people as possible.
We're all about innovation and pushing the limits of winemaking and trying new things. But we equally respect all the hard work our predecessors have done and realise that some styles are better made the way they always were.
There will always be challenges…this year it was the bushfires and Covid-19, so I think we always have to adapt and just make the best wine we can and try to put smiles on people’s faces!