Julian Grounds (Head Winemaker)

Hailing from Albany in the Great Southern, Western Australia, Julian graduated Dux of Viticulture and Oenology from Curtin university, being granted the prestigious the Leeuwin Scholarship, and the chance to further study and work in the Southern Burgundy region PouillyFuisse.


After a post university stint at Leeuwin Estate, Julian moved to work for one of the pioneering families of the revered Pinot Noir region of Oregon, the Ponzi family. Two vintages at Ponzi was intersected by time at another Pinot Noir powerhouse of Central Otago, Carrick wines.


Eventually, Julian was coerced back to Victoria's Yarra Valley region where, after a short stint at Medhurst Wines, he became Senior Winemaker for Giant Steps, helping shape some of the most respected single vineyard wines in Australia.


Julian joined McHenry Hohnen prior to vintage 2017, seeing us through a unique, albeit difficult, cool vintage. He is exceptionally proud of the quality of wines from this vintage.


Julian sees site expression and vineyard/winery sustainability as the most imperatives elements to crafting quality wines.


"For me every wine should be the purest expression of the site from which the fruit is grown. All elements of that site (biological activity, soil type, prevailing winds etc) are critical at giving a wine its personality, and it's our responsibility to ensure that these elements shine through".


Sharing McHenry Hohnen's philosophy of sustainability and site expression, Julian sees a bright future with the benefits of biologically farmed fruit from some of the most unique sights in the Margaret River region.


In late 2017 Julian was granted the honour of attending the Len Evans Tutorial in the Hunter Valley, eventually being awarded Dux at the end of the week. A fantastic feat only bestowed upon 16 other people before him.


Julian is also an experienced wine judge and has been a senior wine judge at many of Australia's leading shows including the James Halliday Chardonnay Challenge, Sydney and Margaret River shows. 


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