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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.
The acquisition of Oakvale Winery completed the Becker family dream to create uniquely delicious wines from the best fruit in the Valley. Today Ablington is Certified Organic under ACO and grows perhaps the greatest variety of grapes in the Hunter Valley with varieties in addition to Chardonnay, Semillon and Shiraz, Ablington grows Pinot Noir, Schronburger, Brachetto, Garganega, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Voignier, Carignan, Muscat Rouge & Blanc. 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.
Oakvale’s winemaking is guided under Richards direction to help produce wines that reflect the unique regional expression of the Hunter Valley and embrace the traditional while always looking to be innovative and unique. Winemaking is done with minimal intervention, all ferments are spontaneous and all wine are unfined to protect the true character of the grapes grown during the season.
The winemaking team is make up of a few passionate and dedicated winemakers who share a vision of what wine can be.
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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