Cart 0 items: $0.00


Qty Item Description Price Total
  Subtotal $0.00

View Cart


Katnook Estate

News and Blog

Katnook Estate
16 March 2018 | Katnook Estate

Katnook welcomes new Senior Winemaker

Katnook Coonawarra is delighted to announce the appointment of new Senior Winemaker, Tim Heath, who will start in the role in June 2018. 

Tim is currently Senior Winemaker at one of the world’s most successful wineries, Cloudy Bay Vineyards, New Zealand, where he has pursued his passion for the last fourteen years. During this time, Tim has been responsible for all facets of crafting Cloudy Bay’s internationally renowned wine styles, as well as overseeing winery infrastructure and expansion.  Tim has extensive experience promoting wine and liaising with key opinion leaders in national and international markets. 
Prior to Tim’s move to Cloudy Bay, he was Winemaker at Mountadam in the Barossa Valley, during which time he assisted with vintage at Cave de Tain-l'Hermitage, Northern Rhone, France.  Tim has visited most major French, Spanish and German wine regions, rounding out his international approach to winemaking.

Born and raised in Australia, Tim began studying a Bachelor of Science at the University of Adelaide, before transferring to a Bachelor of Oenology when he realised that winemaking “looked like too much fun to be considered a ‘real’ job”. He graduated from Oenology with First Class Honours, completing a thesis entitled ‘The development of non-destructive photo-chemical assay to measure the ingress of oxygen into bottled wine through various closures.’

Speaking of his new role, Tim said “I’m excited to be joining the team at Katnook, an Estate which has some of the finest terroir in the Coonawarra region, as well as incredible pedigree and history.”

Katnook’s Executive Director of Operations and Finance, Chris Pike, said of the appointment, “We are thrilled that someone of Tim’s winemaking calibre has accepted this role. Tim brings a wealth of international expertise and creative flair that is certain to build on the great legacy left by Wayne Stehbens and to take Katnook Coonawarra into an exciting future.”

Katnook Estate
6 February 2018 | Katnook Estate

Vintage 2018 begins

The 2018 vintage at Katnook Coonawarra began today with harvest of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meuniere for sparkling wine base.  General Manager of Viticulture Chris Brodie explains the story so far, “The spring leading up to the 2018 vintage at  Katnook Coonawarra was wet, providing good soil moisture which gave the vines an excellent start, with very little early season irrigation required. Temperatures were relatively warm which also encouraged good vine growth, especially in newly planted areas.  Bud burst was later than usual.

A significant late frost in early November caused crop losses throughout Coonawarra, Wrattonbully and Padthaway. Katnook’s crop will subsequently be down by around 20%, with Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon at Founder’s Block level most affected.  In mid November we experienced heavy rainfall of around 75mm in one day but we then enjoyed warm, clear conditions.  In mid January, most of southern Australia, including Coonawarra had several days of heatwave conditions, which brought forward the first day of vintage to February 6th.

At this early stage, the vines are in good condition and the crop load is moderate, so we are upbeat about the quality of the resulting wines.” 

Katnook Estate
7 November 2017 | Katnook Estate

Vale Wayne Stehbens

It is with great sadness that Wingara Wine Group announces the sudden passing of our Katnook senior winemaker Wayne Stehbens on Sunday 05 November.  He was 63 years old.

Wayne has been an institution on the Coonawarra winemaking scene for more than 38 years and his passion, skill and dedication to Katnook and the Coonawarra region in general were extraordinary.

Wayne Stehbens made Katnook's first vintage and headed the winemaking team until his sudden death, making him one of Australia’s longest serving winemakers. 

In 1979 Wayne produced his first vintage and in 1980, he crafted Katnook’s first commercial quantities of wine. Wayne was then fresh from winemaking studies at Charles Sturt University when he was appointed winemaker at Katnook. He was already familiar with the property having worked alongside his father, Katnook General Manager Ray Stehbens, during his school holidays.

Foreshadowing the success that was to come, these first wines won 49 awards in their first year.   In 1988 Wayne travelled to Graves, near Bordeaux in France, where Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc are the leading varieties.  Here, he completed vintage and gained insights into these wine styles.  Wayne was one of the first Australian winemakers to make Sauvignon Blanc in commercial quantities.

Over the course of his career Wayne received numerous awards and accolades. He won two Jimmy Watson Trophies (1987 and 1998) and a double trophy at the prestigious International Wine & Spirit Competition in 2003 for the flagship Odyssey Cabernet Sauvignon 1998. Further trophies included the 2000 vintage of Odyssey in the International Wine & Spirit Competition 2005 & Decanter Wine Awards 2005 and most recently a trophy for the 2008 Odyssey in the 2013 International Wine & Spirits Competition.   In the Langton’s Classification V, Odyssey receives a rating of ‘Outstanding’, Prodigy a classification of ‘Excellent’ and the Katnook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon a rating of ‘Distinguished’.  

Wayne was a talented winemaker with a sophisticated understanding of the unique terroir of Coonawarra. He was passionate about the wines in his charge and about Coonawarra as an significant wine producing region, having served for two years as President of the Coonawarra Vigneron’s Association.

Wayne governed Katnook’s winemaking during the most dynamic growth period of the Australian wine industry.  Wayne cited the loves of his life as his family, wine, fast cars (he owned two Bolwells which he built from scratch), water skiing and tennis. 

In 2013 Wayne celebrated 35 years of winemaking at Katnook and reflected on his career -  read the interview here for an insight into Wayne and his winemaking at the time. 

No words can truly describe the extraordinary impact Wayne had at Katnook Estate, Coonawarra - he will be sadly missed by so many.  

Greg Clayfield has temporarily assumed the role of Senior Winemaker until a permanent replacement is appointed.  He has decades of winemaking experience in Coonawarra, including  Zema Estate, Rouge Homme and Wynns.  Greg was awarded the 1988 International Winemaker of the Year and was a great friend of Wayne’s.

Share this: