Tim Pelquest-Hunt has been announced as Chief Winemaker at Orlando, following news its 2019 Lyndale Chardonnay was awarded Best in Show at the 2022 Decanter World Wine Awards.
Pelquest-Hunt got to work as Chief Winemaker at Orlando in May this year, having worked with the Australian brand at Pernod Ricard Winemakers – including stints with Jacob’s Creek – since 2013.
His journey to Orlando started at a Sydney wine store. From there, an interest in wine tasting led to the Viticulture and Oenology graduate program at Lincoln University in New Zealand.
Since then, Pelquest-Hunt gained experience working across some of the world’s most diverse winemaking regions including the Hunter Valley, Tasmania, New Zealand, and Rheinhessen in Germany, as well as specialising in sparkling winemaking in the growing English wine region of West Sussex, and California’s famous Napa Valley.
“To be entrusted with custodianship of an iconic and historic wine brand in Orlando is extremely humbling,” Pelquest-Hunt said.
Pelquest-Hunt was selected as a scholar for the 2022 Len Evans Tutorial, has been dux of the Australian Wine Research Institute’s Advanced Wine Assessment Course, is a wine show judge, and sits on the Barossa Wine Show committee.
He credits Orlando with sparking his love for wine and not surprisingly, is a big advocate for the Australian wine industry.
“Orlando was formulative in developing my love of wine, none more so than Steingarten Riesling, which was the first six-pack of wine I ever purchased,” Pelquest-Hunt said.
“The rich tapestry of Orlando’s winemaking history reshaped the face of the Australian wine industry, defining regional classics and the concept of ‘sense of place’ in a glass. These are special wines from treasured places. Alongside a talented team, I look forward to continuing this legacy while influencing the evolution of wine styles that will excite palates everywhere.”
On Pelquest-Hunt’s appointment, Brett McKinnon, Chief Operations Officer for Pernod Ricard Winemakers, said: “After nine years with the business, we are proud to see Tim stepping into the role of Orlando Chief Winemaker. He combines a wealth of global experience from wine regions all over the world with a passion and curiosity for winemaking.”
“Tim is committed to maintaining brand quality and heritage whilst being an advocate for the sustainable growth of the Australian wine industry into the future. We look forward to seeing him continuing the success of the Orlando brand,” McKinnon added.