JAMES BECKER – WINEMAKER
In 2009 eldest son, James Becker abandoned both Sydney and a career in finance to pursue his passion for viticulture and the land. Joining the family wine business James undertook a post-graduate degree in winemaking at Charles Sturt University and began the traditional journey followed by many family vignerons in the Hunter Valley.
Despite long hours in the vineyards and the winery a determination to produce iconic hunter wines fuels James’ passion to combine state of the art technology with innovative winemaking techniques.
TRAVIS EMMETT – VINEYARD MANAGER
Joining Oakvale in April 2014, Travis has a passion to grow fruit that is an expression of the site on which it was grown. Growing up in Tasmania, Travis developed a taste for the wine industry whilst working in restaurants.
Building on his love of the outdoors and wine he went on to study viticulture at Charles Sturt University. Travis has managed vineyards in both cool and warm climate viticultural regions throughout Australia and has been based in the Hunter Valley since 2007.
Travis has an intimate knowledge of the interactions of the vines within their habitat and the role that climate and soil play in producing great fruit. Travis’ vineyard ideals are careful control of yield and quality whilst enhancing vine health and sustainability.
THE BECKER FAMILY – VIGNERONS
In 1995 the Becker Family purchased Ablington Vineyard, once the historic O'Connor dairy farm. Situated on Summerhill in Pokolbin, this 130 acre property was a perfect site to realise a dream first conceived when Susan and Richard visited a number of French vineyards in the 80s.
The first vines were planted in the much sought after great red volcanic loam soils on the property in 1996. In 2008 Ablington was expanded to include the old Stevens Vineyard where the dry farmed white varietals planted on the nearby MacDonald Flats had long benefited from the alluvial grey soils.
Today Ablington has expanded to around 300 acres and manages nearly 90 acres of vines.
In 2009 eldest son, James Becker joined the family wine business to start a legacy in the tradition of many family vignerons in the Hunter Valley.
To ensure Ablington’s extraordinary fruit would have the opportunity to blossom fully, in 2010 the family purchased Oakvale, one of the oldest working wineries in the Hunter Valley.