Our People

Brother John May, SJ, Jesuit Winemaker Emeritus

Mike Christophersen
General Manager

Mike has extensive experience in the wine and brewing industries, working in a range of roles and regions before joining Sevenhill Cellars in 2014. After graduating with a Science Degree from Melbourne University, Mike joined the wine industry as a trainee winemaker with Wynns, which included time at the Glenloth Winery at Reynella and at Coonawarra. He then moved to the beer industry with Carlton and United Breweries where he spent 15 years working as a brewer and in various management roles, including a three-year period with CUB in Fiji. Mike returned to wine in 1999, joining Southcorp, where he managed operations in Waikerie, Mildura and Griffith, followed by Nuriootpa and Magill in South Australia. After two years with Seppetsfield Wines in the Barossa Valley, Mike spent three vintages with Accolade Wines as Head of Vineyard and Winery operations for the Riverland and Sunraysia regions.


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.


Liz Heidenreich, Winemaker

Liz Heidenreich

Liz joined Sevenhill Cellars for the 2006 vintage and immediately made her mark. Her 2006 Riesling won a gold medal in its class and the JB MacMahon Trophy for the best wine under $20 at the Royal Adelaide Wine Show. A former nurse, Liz decided to pursue her interest in wine by returning to study as a post-graduate student at the University of Adelaide. A naturally instinctive winemaker, she places a high value on working with quality fruit and attention to detail as key requirements for creating outstanding wine. Prior to joining Sevenhill as its first female winemaker, Liz undertook vintages at Wirra Wirra in McLaren Vale and at Sir Cliff Richard’s estate in Portugal. In addition to her work at Sevenhill, Liz has judged extensively at wine shows, including the Royal Adelaide Wine Show, Clare Regional Wine Show and the Barossa Wine Show. She is a member of the Clare Valley Winemakers Inc executive and she is the CVWI’s regional representative on the South Australian Wine Industry Association’s Executive Committee.


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.