Patrick Sullivan: Winemaker: Ellinbank

“To be honest, I wanted to make wine from the age of 15, but my dad told me it was a bad idea. I guess it worked out well”

Patrick Sullivan is a natural wine maker based in Ellinbank, VIC with his wife and new born baby. They choose this estate is because it’s rich with minerals and volcanic soil which encourages growth.

2012 is when his wine journey all began. Sullivan started to buy fruit like most wine makers do but wanted to have 100% assurance of his product and decided to grow his own fruit which takes a lot longer and more riskier but more rewarding in the long term.

There is a big disconnect between the growing of the grapes and then purchasing the grape to make the wine. Patrick is trying to make wine without preservatives and 100% involved from start to end. It truely is an art!

Once grapes are harvested and cleaned, they are placed into barrels to sit and gain their character over time. Most barrels are made of oak or stainless steel but Patrick choose barrels made from ceramics and 100% Australian because he prefers the taste. And most of the wood is from France or America. He is proud he makes his wine from Australia.

After school he moved to Europe and decided to study medicine to become a paediatrician but after living in London he returned to Australian and decided to study wine making.

Sullivan first got attention because of his breakfast wine. It’s popularity couldn’t exceed stock and soon enough he couldn’t get the fruit any longer, so he decided to grow the fruit himself…and the rest is history.

The wine that struck my attention was his Rose ‘Pink Pound’. A very tasty drop and the artwork by Dutch artists Eero Lampinian is outstanding.

To end the visit, we drove over to another piece of land where he grows his fruit. It’s called Pat and Bill’s vineyard. It also houses a restaurant which will feature locally grown, organic food, to be created by Trevor, the local chef…it’s all local! A nice compliment to Pat’s wine.

AR is happy to feature Pat and if you ever end up down his way, make sure to go visit his vineyard for a tasty drop or two.

Name: Patrick Sullivan
Occupation: Winemaker
Hometown: Ellinbank
Current Location: Ellinbank

When I was a kid I wanted to be… To be honest, I wanted to make wine from the age of 15, but my dad told me it was a bad idea. I guess it worked out well!!

My earliest, fondest memory is… Veggie Gardening with my mum

The studies I took to get where I am… Undergraduate in Viticulture

Before this phase of my career/life, I was… Travelling and working in wine shops around the world

I’m most creative when… I’m alone, I’m outside and it’s late

The tools I can’t live without… my taste buds

I’m inspired by… Anyone who is doing something truly unique

I’m currently reading… Henry Kissinger ON CHINA

The website I hang out on the most… Gourmet traveller Recipes

I’m currently listening to… John Coltrane

The last film I watched was… I generally fall asleep if I sit in the one place too long

One thing I would like to do but haven’t got around to it yet… Chinese cooking school

The challenges of doing what I do… getting the vineyards and wine through to harvest and bottling

The highlights over the past 12 months have been… The wines from the 2016 Vintage

Advice to share to those who want to follow in my footsteps… have direction and run as fast as you can. Pay good money for an accountant!

Do What You Want…as long as it’s with your whole heart

Website // Instagram

Photography: Tom Terlaak
Interview: Michelle Owen