Somerled is all about the Moody family, and the wine they drink is all about patriarch, Rob. Rob was employed by Penfolds Father of Grange, Max Schubert, in 1969. Max went on to put Rob in charge of the
Grangen production when it moved to the Barossa Valley. Indeed Rob was head of the red
ferments in 1971, which is known to be the best
wine in the entire world of that decade.
This clashed somewhat with the birth of his first
child, Emma, during that vintage but he managed to keep an eye on both.
Then Rob won the role of Wynns Chief
He and his team developed the famous John
Riddoch label alongside viticulturalist Vic
Patrick in 1982.
This was a breakthrough. Vic managed to get
the fruit to such ripeness, and it was such a
wonderful vintage anyway, that it changed the
Wynns winemaking style forever.
They decided to pick up a prize for it in the
House of Commons later that decade.
Rob very happily remained at Wynns until a
Penfolds takeover, and he was home again!
You will have heard of many wines that Rob
was responsible for - and breezily helped to
make famous - as part of the Penfolds and
Wynns groups: Penfolds Grange, Bin 707, Bin
389, St Henri, Rouge Homme, Tulloch,
Hungerford Hill and Leo Buring. In 2001 he began making Somerled.
Private clients had requested a McLaren Vale
Shiraz … but then Rob wondered what it would
be like to just make his own Adelaide Hills
Chardonnay under the label too. I mean, isn’t
the Hills just made for Chardonnay?
But isn’t the Hills also made for French-style
sparkling? Wonderful, let’s add one of those
The tiny Somerled brand slowly but surely grew,
through exports and other distribution, until
the family decided that it was something that
needed to be hand sold here, back home in the
Hills. So Rob and family found themselves right
Hopefully while you are here you may spy this
gentle soul at the bar. He is widely respected in
the industry, patient, curious, traditional yet
original, and has a lovely but dry (watch out!)
sense of humour. He is loved dearly.
Keep an eye on the Moody clan via their weekly blog, on the front page of somerled.com.au!