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 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.
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 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’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.