Career change a grape idea

From working in the bustling city of Sydney as a chef, to now making wine in Orange, Duncan Cook and his boutique winery – Cook Family Estate - has gone from strength to strength.

Duncan studied winemaking at Charles Sturt University before going on to make his own in 2007.

Cook Family Estate sources fruits from up to a dozen vineyards and Duncan says the cool climate of Orange helps with the various products.

“Most wineries or vineyards in Australia tend to grow everything and just about any variety on a single vineyard, whether it is suited or not,” he said.

“The climate in Orange is strongly influenced by, and largely dependent on elevation. Hence the importance of growing any particular varietal at the appropriate altitude.

“Which is why Cook Family Estate’s fruit is grown in several vineyards at different altitudes, climates and soils that best suit a particular varietal.

Duncan’s role at the winery ranges from winemaking to sales and marketing and even book keeping.

Cook Family Estate produces three different varieties of wines.

My aim is to produce high quality wines that are excellent value for money...

Duncan Cook, Cook Family Estate, Orange.

“My aim is to produce high quality wines that are excellent value for money. In fact all of our wines scored 90 plus points in the 2018 edition by James Halliday in the Australian wine companion not to mention the five star winery rating,” Duncan said.

Duncan was recently awarded a 5 Star Winery Rating as a producer of wines.

”It was gratifying  to be awarded a 5 star rating in the Australian wine companion to be recognised as an 'Outstanding winery capable of producing wines of very high quality’,” Duncan said.

“It acknowledges the hard work we put in at the winery.”

He and his team will now travel to Sydney to attend the first ever Commercial Drinks Show, which is co-located with Fine Foods Australia.

The Commercial Drinks Show will run from September 11 to 14.

It is an event dedicated solely to Australia’s $16 billion on-premise liquor industry.

There will be over 50 brewers, distillers, wineries, distributors, wholesalers, importers and exporters, with a focus on unique tastes from craft and artisan producers.

At the Show, Duncan will launch the Cook Family Estate’s latest products, 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, 2017 Pinot Gris and 2016 Handpicked Pinot Noir.

“I will be at the Commercial Drinks Show and will likely have some new release wines along with our award winning wines,” Duncan said.