“The Lusatia Park vineyard is located in a lovely spot, elevated with an amazing north facing sloping site that overlooks the Yarra Valley. It has a view that you never get tired of and, even better, it makes very delicious wine.”
Andrew Ray first started working for De Bortoli in 2006 when he took a job in the King Valley vineyard, working on the winemaking side while the fruit was being processed at a local King Valley winery. After four years in the High Country he was offered work in the Yarra Valley, both in the winery during vintage and in the vineyard during the growing season.
It was the vineyard work that really got under his skin because “every day is different and there are always so many different jobs to be done when looking after a vineyard and growing grapes.”
“Picking grapes early in the morning when the sun is just rising over the vineyard and the fruit has a very special glisten from the coolness and sunrise is one of my favourite parts of vintage,” says Andrew. “And I love when spring comes around, the days get longer and the vines become alive and you start to see what the vintage and its wines are going to be like for that year.”
Andrew’s career highlight so far came in 2016 when the De Bortoli family bought the Lusatia Park vineyard, considered one of the best sites for growing grapes in the Yarra Valley, and offered him the job of managing it. Managing Lusatia Park and watching the change in the appearance of the property has been his proudest achievement in his 11 years with De Bortoli Wines.
Besides Lusatia Park, Andrew’s also a huge fan of Pinot Blanc, dirt bikes, end-of-vintage parties, things being neat and clean, camping trips with his mates, hats and his dog Ted. He’s not, however, a fan of wombats.
"Don’t overthink what wine you’re going to drink. If it tastes great to you then buy it and keep drinking it! Not everyone has the same palate."
In 2010 Andrew spent four months in Sonoma, California working vintage at Littorai, a winery that makes only Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and is considered one of the best in the United States.