Our People

Brother John May, SJ, Jesuit Winemaker Emeritus

Jonathan O'Neill
General Manager

Jonathan has more than 20 years’ experience in the wine industry, most recently as Angove Family Winemakers’ regional export manager.
Jonathan spent 11 years with the long-standing South Australian wine business, developing markets in Asia and Europe and also taking on a trading role managing vintage sales. Prior to this position, he worked for 10 years at Plantagenet Wines in Western Australia’s Great Southern region where he was responsible for the winery’s sales and marketing and helped more than double the business during that decade. Jonathan has an Associate Diploma in Wine Marketing, an Agricultural Business Degree and a Master of Business Administration, all gained at the University of Adelaide.

 

Brother John May, SJ, Jesuit Winemaker Emeritus

Brother John May, SJ AM
Jesuit Winemaker Emeritus

The last in line of seven Jesuit winemakers at Sevenhill Cellars, Brother May’s distinguished career began when he arrived in the Clare Valley in 1963. He was soon immersed in viticulture and winemaking and his stewardship as winemaker/manager saw the emergence of Sevenhill’s reputation for quality table wines, the growth of its cellar door operation and visitor recognition of Sevenhill as a notable location of religious and heritage character. Brother May retired as winemaker in early 2003, assuming the title of Jesuit Winemaker Emeritus. Brother May’s contribution to the wine industry was recognised as one of the initial inductees to the Clare Valley Wine Hall of Fame in 2014 and with life membership of the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia in 2004. He was admitted as a member in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours’ List in 2016 in recognition of his significant service to winemaking and through contributions to professional associations, to regional tourism and to the Catholic Church in Australia.

 

Will Shields, Winemaker

Will Shields
Winemaker

Sevenhill Cellars opened a new winemaking chapter in January 2019 with the appointment of Will Shields. Will has more than 25 years’ experience as a winemaker, with major stints in Western Australia’s Margaret River region and New Zealand. His love of wine was sparked from his upbringing in the Hunter Valley where his parents owned Oakvale Vines. Will studied at South Australia’s Roseworthy College, before earning his stripes in WA, receiving a string of accolades – as many as 50 awards – during his time at Vasse Felix and Clairault. After nearly four years in New Zealand at The Wine Portfolio, Will returned to Australia in 2016, joining Kirrihill Wines in the Clare Valley. Allowing fruit to express itself is at the heart of Will’s approach to winemaking, using a soft hand to achieve balanced, elegant wines.

 

Craig Richards, Vineyard Manager

Craig Richards
Vineyard Manager

Craig joined Sevenhill Cellars in 1999, when he was appointed Vineyard Manager. His viticultural philosophy focuses on biological farming principles, which incorporate sustainable practices that have low environmental impact and enhance the natural balance and health of the soil. Craig is passionate in his belief that these principles are significant in producing grapes that are fruit-driven, the key to making the best possible wines. Craig is a member of the Clare Valley Vine Improvement Society and sat for a term on the Phylloxera & Grape Industry Board of South Australia.

 

Tony Worthington - Cellar Door Manager

Tony Worthington
Sales Manager

Tony’s sales focus comes after working in a wide variety of roles in the wine industry. After a background in hospitality, Tony joined the industry in 2004, working as a vintage cellar hand at Penfold’s Magill Estate. Post vintage, he took up an opportunity with Nepenthe Viticulture, where he gained extensive experience in the management of a number of vineyards in the Adelaide Hills. During this period he also completed a Graduate Diploma of Applied Science: Viticulture in 2006 before moving to the Clare Valley as Works Manager for Kirribilly Vineyard Management. In 2010, Tony’s focus switched to a sales/marketing role with the establishment of a regional cellar door specialising in smaller producers from the Clare Valley. Tony’s sales role continued with Kirrihill Wines Cellar Door in 2012 and he joined Sevenhill Cellars in October 2014 where he is responsible for sales and Cellar Door operation.