By Amy Looker
Several Australian wineries are kicking off 2013 with revamped winemaking teams.
Agnew Wines has promoted Jeff Byrne to the role of chief winemaker, taking over the reins of the Cockfighter's Ghost and Poole's Rock labels in addition to the Audrey Wilkinson range.
Byrne, who first joined the company in 2008, will take over from Usher Tinkler who has departed Agnew Wines to pursue family business interests.
Named as the 2011 Hunter Valley Wine Industry Association Rising Star, Byrne's winemaking career commenced as a cellar hand at Tower Estate under the mentoring of Len Evans.
"I am really excited by the prospect of making great wines from some of the other great regions of Australia for the Cockfighter's Ghost label," said Byrne.
"At the same time I get to continue making great Hunter Valley wines with Audrey Wilkinson – wines that I am particularly proud of."
Seppelt Great Western has promoted Adam Carnaby to the position of Senior Winemaker.
Carnaby brings a wealth of cool-climate winemaking knowledge to the role, having spent part of his early career in the Yarra Valley, Burgundy, and Margaret River.
He has worked closely with the Seppelt winemaking team for over a year and played a key role in the crafting of the 2012 vintage.
Carnaby studied at Charles Sturt University, completing a bachelor degree in wine science in 2003 after gaining a bachelor in applied science from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 1990.
And Peter Lehmann Wines has welcomed Tim Dolan to its winemaking team, more than 30 years after his father, Nigel Dolan, completed his first vintage at the winery.
Dolan's appointment continues a Lehmann/Dolan connection spanning more than 50 years, dating back to 1959 when Dolan's grandfather, Bryan, was the General Manager and Winemaker at Saltram and employed a promising young winemaker called Peter Lehmann to take over his position.
Chief winemaker, Andrew Wigan, said he is looking forward to working with another generation of Dolans.
"Tim worked with us over vintage in 2011. We are a small and tight-knit team of four and he fitted right in with a global perspective, youthful energy and genuine talent," Wigan said.