Sourcing fruit from some of the best vineyards in the Hunter, Hilltops and Canberra wine regions in New South Wales, we engage passionate growers that work tirelessly to deliver the best fruit possible. Our growers also firmly believe in sustainable vineyard practices, with a view to leaving the land in a better condition for the next generation.
In the winery, we employ a thoughtful combination of new and old world practices to deliver high quality, innovative wines. These wines represent some of the best examples of regional, modern Australian style, produced on a boutique scale. Fermentation with naturally occurring yeast, and partial fermentation of whites on skins, are two key practices we have implemented to great effect. With our reds, fermentation in open tanks, hand plunging, and shorter maturation periods in premium French oak puncheons illustrate a combined traditional / modern approach to winemaking that helps us to deliver wines that strike a fine balance between fruit flavour and complexity. Ultimately, we seek to produce quality wines that tell a story of the season and region. The wines should offer drinking appeal from day one, but also have the potential age gracefully.
Matt holds a Bachelor of Wine Science and Graduate Diploma of Business Administration from Charles Sturt University. He has been involved at various levels of winemaking and wine business management for the last sixteen years. Starting out as a Trainee Winemaker in the Hunter Valley, Matt then gained invaluable experience making wine in the United States and France before heading to Coldstream Hills in the Yarra Valley. In 2003, he finally settled in the Hunter Valley where he was ultimately promoted to the dual role of Winemaker and General Manager at a leading boutique winery.
In 2011, Matt decided to step out and establish the Gundog Estate wine business and cellar door. Under Matt’s management and winemaking, Gundog Estate has consistently been awarded a prestigious five-star winery rating from Australia’s leading wine critic — James Halliday. During his time in the Hunter, Matt’s wines have gained many accolades. In 2010, Matt was recognised as the “Hunter Valley’s Rising Star,” and in 2015, finalist for Winemaker of the Year at the Hunter Valley Wine Industry Awards.
Renee comes from a business background, holding a Business Degree majoring in Finance and Tourism. After working in the accounting industry for 6 years, she moved into managing The Golden Door Spa in Pokolbin, gaining invaluable experience in both tourism and management. After having their first daughter Scarlett, Renee joined Matt in managing Gundog Estate, putting her love of wine, food, and business knowledge into action. Alongside the Cellar Door, Renee looks after the Gourmet Pantry, which offers delicious gourmet produce, cheese plates & coffee.
Geoff Burton is a veteran of the Australian film and television industries where he has worked as a cinematographer and director on over fifty Australian feature films and hundreds of television dramas and documentaries. His first feature film was SUNDAY TOO FAR AWAY and the most recent BLESSED. He claims it was during the early years of his career when travelling extensively overseas that he came to discover the delights of fine food and wine. Living and working as a freelance film maker in Europe turned him into an obsessive Francophile with a passion for the wines of the Rhone Valley and Bordeaux regions.
Sharon Bell is an anthropologist and academic with a distinguished career working in Australian universities. It was during her years of field research for her PhD in Asia that introduced her to the diversity of national cuisines and the development of a life-long interest in innovative food and wine. Sharon Bell is also a documentary filmmaker and the production company she set up with Geoff Burton in the 1970’s continues to produce quality films for the international market.
The canine member of the family is the Cocker Spaniel and failed gundog Karl Marx. He hates the sound of gunfire, but successfully bothers the rabbits on the vineyard and provides the model for our GUNDOG ESTATE label.