Winemaker

Ely Jarvis

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“I am passionate about grape growing, believing that wines which inspire people can only be made from grapes sourced from vines that are balanced, in harmony with their environment, producing vibrant and unique expressions of their place of origin.”

Born 1970 in Goroka, Papua New Guinea, Ely lived in PNG for 4 years before returning with her family to Dunsborough, WA in early 1974. She moved to Busselton where her father, a GP, had a practice, originally with Kevin Cullen and Bill Pannell, who were instrumental in establishing a young Margaret River wine industry. Ely credits these family relationships with her first insight into the winemaking ‘lifestyle’.

Ely completed an Honours degree in Horticultural Science at UWA and Murdoch University in 1989-1992. After 2 years working at UWA in the Soil Science and Plant Nutrition Department as a Research Assistant, Ely decided to pursue viticulture and winemaking, the reason she had chosen to study horticulture in the first place, enrolling in a Post-Graduate Diploma of Oenology at Adelaide University. Before beginning her studies, Ely worked as Ashbrook Estate in the vineyard for 6 months followed by a short stint in the vineyards at Mosswood Estate before landing a vintage job at Cape Mentelle as the “Lab Rat” in February 1996. This introduction to the industry inspired her passion and she completed winemaking studies in June 1997.

Since entering the wine industry, Ely has done vintage and cellar stints at Hardy, Cassegrain Vineyards (1997), Simi Winery in California (1997), and Hartenberg Estate in Stellenbosch, South Africa (1998). In June 1998, an opportunity to return to the region she loves so much saw Ely accept Cellar Foreman at Cape Mentelle Vineyards (CMV). Ely took on the Production Manager/Winemaker’s role as well as making the wine for Fonty’s Pool Vineyards in Pemberton, a joint venture. In mid-2005 Ely left CMV to join Fonty’s Pool Vineyards as their Senior Winemaker as Fonty’s Pool acquired full ownership of the label and sought to retain Ely’s winemaking expertise.

To concentrate on being a mum to 3 small children and with a winemaking husband, Ely briefly left the industry in 2007. Ely then accepted a lecturing position in August 2008 with Curtin University, Margaret River, in the Bachelor of Science (Oenology and Viticulture) degree.

The desire to make wine from exceptional grapes has always driven Ely and with this she decided to start up her own consulting business, Margaret River Wine Solutions, securing a winemaking consulting contract with Driftwood Estate in late 2013.

“I am passionate about grape growing, believing that wines which inspire people can only be made from grapes sourced from vines that are balanced, in harmony with their environment, producing vibrant and unique expressions of their place of origin. My role is to nurture this in the wine to bottle. Margaret River has the ideal climate to achieve this, and at the same time is an awesome place to bring up our kids! Truly lucky!”