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Our Team


In 1995, Richard Becker and his late wife Suzy purchased the O’Connor Family property in Pokolbin and established Ablington Vineyard, planting 50 acres of made up of Shiraz, Chardonnay & Semillon. Richard and Suzy’s passion for wine made the transition to Vignerons a natural progression. So in 2010 it was inevitable for the Becker Family to move into winemaking when son James decided to study winemaking at Charles Sturt University. 

The acquisition of Oakvale Winery completed the Becker family dream to create uniquely delicious wines from the best fruit in the Valley. Today Ablington grows perhaps the greatest variety of grapes in the Hunter Valley with varieties including Pinot Noir Dijon, Riesling, Schronburger, Brachetto, Garganega, Pinot Gris Entav, Gewurztraminer, Voignier, Carignan, Muscat Rouge & Blanc. As the Becker Family move to Organic practices, the classic Hunter Varieties and these experimental plantings along with Ablington’s natural attributes ensures a wholly innovative and unique wine character for all Oakvale wines.


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.


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.


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