Wine Makers

Our wines are made by Mark Aitken and Mike Garland at the fantastic Castelli Estate contract crush facilities at Mount Shadforth, Denmark WA. 

Mark Aitken

While working as an Electrical Engineer Mark discovered his love of wine and undertook his Bachelor of Applied Science at Curtin University in Perth, where he was awarded the prestigious Talijancich/Radoux scholarship, and finished dux of his year. Mark enjoys working with cool climate wines.  He is the winemaker for several wine labels, including his own, making premium, award winning Pemberton and Manjimup Region wines.

Mike Garland

After completing a bachelor degree in Biological Science, Mike ventured into various pursuits including wetland research, computer sales and fashion retail. It was whilst working in the ragtrade in Adelaide that Mike started discovering an interest for wine (ably assisted by his wino brother). This interest soon turned into obsession whilst Mike returned to Perth to run a very successful clothing business. Fuelled by a passion for Cool Climate wine styles, Mike and his wife, Julie, made the move in 1996 to Mount Barker in the Great Southern where they purchased an established mature vineyard.

Mike went back to study wine science at Charles Sturt University and became a strong regional ambassador, working initially for Plantagenet Wines and then developing a vibrant contract winemaking facility (along with being a part time house builder and having 3 children). This gave a solid foundation in all aspects of the wine industry, from viticulture, marketing, logistics management and most importantly his main passion, winemaking. Mike also gained considerable experience in the Mittlerhein, Germany to expand on his fascination with Germanic style Rieslings. The opportunity to head up the Castelli Winery at Mount Shadforth was too good to refuse and in 2007 Mike helped the Castelli family's winery dream become a reality. The central driving force behind Mike's winemaking philosophy is that it is always about balance and structure - something that can only be truly achieved from Cool Climate viticulture.

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