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The Winemakers

Suzie Muntz, Viticulturist

Suzie started with Xanadu Wines 6 years ago, in 2007 as the Vineyard Supervisor where she developed a passion for growing Wine Grapes.Suzie grew up in the small wheat belt town of Corrigin before heading away to boarding school and then University. Coming from the country,loving to spend a lot of time outdoors, having a passion for growing things, and a taste for good food and wine, it only seemed natural to studyAgricultural Science at the University of Western Australia. At this point in time she didn’t feel the need to narrow down her field of plant studies to just one crop, but instead kept it broad majoring in plant science, soil science and wrote her thesis on herbicide resistance in weed species.Her passion for Agriculture has lead her to live and work in some of the most beautiful parts of the world, Ontario, Canada and Kauai, Hawaii to name a couple. After such time, Suzie missed her Australian roots, family and friends and decided to move toMargaret River to pursue a career in viticulture and the wine industry. Her career in the south west of Western Australia has seen her be an Agronomist for Biofusion Farming, the Technical Officer for 11 vineyards across the SW and Great Southern. Living in theMargaret River Region and having a keen interest in visiting the local vineyards and wineries, and enrolling herself into Wine Evaluation courses then led her into working as a Cellar Hand for nearly a year. After getting a taste of Winemaking so to speak, it was at this point that Suzie decided to apply for the Vineyard Supervisor position at Xanadu Wines.After 6 years Suzie has proven herself as an enthusiastic team player and has recently taken on the role as Viticlurist. Darren Rathbone jokes that Suzie is the only person he knows that sat in her first interview for Xanadu Wines and told her current boss that she saw herself taking his job in the future!

 

Glenn Goodall, Senior Winemaker

Originally from Northland in New Zealand, Glenn first visited Australia on a surfing holiday in 1989. It was during this trip that he began his involvement in the wine industry, working in the vineyard at Cassegrain Wines in Port Macquarie, New South Wales.

 A vintage at Domaine La Grave in Bordeaux the following year (1990) cemented Glenn’s passion for wine and he soon returned to Port Macquarie for another vintage at Cassegrain. Recognising Glenn’s ability, winemakers John Cassegrain and Drew Noon encouraged him to take up winemaking studies at a tertiary level. Over a span of nine years at Cassegrain, Glenn worked his way from the vineyards to the cellar, before eventually earning the position of Winemaker.  During this time Glenn completed a winemaking degree (Bachelor of Agricultural Science, Oenology) at the University of Adelaide (Roseworthy), and gained valuable experience overseas including vintages in South Africa (1992, 1998) at Glen Carlou Vineyards, in New Zealand (1996) at Esk Valley in Hawkes Bay, and at Mac Rostie Wines in California, USA (1997).

After a short stint in South Africa, Glenn returned to Australia to settle in the Margaret River region where his wife, also a winemaker, grew up. He took on a vineyard role at Ashbrook Vineyards, before assisting in establishing Margaret River’s first contract winemaking facility at Harmans Ridge. Glenn eventually found his niche as a winemaker at Xanadu Wines, joining the team in late 1999. Several months after the Rathbone Family purchased the winery, Glenn took on the role of Senior Winemaker at Xanadu and he has been at the helm since the 2006 vintage. He is focussed on utmost quality, holding a great passion for Margaret River as a wine-producing region, whilst also valuing the amazing lifestyle that Margaret River offers his young family.

Glenn has an intuitive approach to winemaking, and a deep respect for the vineyard where he believes true quality begins. He understands that it takes more than one person to make the wines, and is proud to lead a great team who share his focus in both the vineyard and the winery. Glenn considers his role is often more about being the custodian of the vineyards, and what the individual sites have to offer. His philosophy is to purely guide the wines through to the bottle rather than ‘beating them into submission’ . . . and to enjoy the winemaking experience.

During his time at Xanadu Glenn acknowledges it has been both rewarding and sometimes challenging.  He is excited about the future – having experienced the full cycle of the winery from Lagan-family ownership, through the sometimes challenging corporate phase before returning to family ownership with the Rathbone family in August 2005.  The Rathbone family share his focus on uncompromising quality, beginning in the vineyard.

In 2013 Glenn was a finalist in the Gourmet Traveller WINE Winemaker of the Year Awards.

 

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