What?

Swan Valley Wines is a boutique winery, nestled in the foothills of the Darling Scarp in Western Australia. Our estate vineyard is one of the oldest producing vineyards in Western Australia and several of our varietals are amongst the oldest of their type in Australia.

Our manifesto:

PROTECT old vines and preserve the bio-cultural diversity and endemic grape varietals of the Swan Valley

PRESERVE the character of estate and local vineyards by practising organic viticulture and supporting local growers who choose to work this way

RESPECT the rules of nature and allow natural processes to occur in the winery, including use of indigenous yeasts, not blocking microbial activities and the use of low or no preservatives

RESIST trends. We make wines that reflect the conditions of vintage and above all represent styles that we like to drink.

How?

We believe that it is the micro-biome of the vineyard and the winery that shapes a great wine. The old, organically grown vines of our estate vineyard are pruned as bush vines and come replete with an entire ecosystem of yeasts and bacteria, which we use to ferment our wine!

Our winery was built in the 1970s and has seen many years of continuous usage, the old concrete vats have many stories to tell and their own rich micro-flora.

While we allow nature to take its course, we will roll up our sleeves when necessary, to ensure that the particular signature of a vineyard is preserved.

We bottle our wines when they are ready, often waiting until well into the following year, looking for a natural stability, pure fruit flavours and food friendly complexity.

Who?

Peter Hoffman (founder – retired)

Peter (recently retired CEO) had a thirty-year career with the Department of Agriculture, before purchasing the wild looking vineyard and old brick shed in 1986. For many years the grapes grown on the property were sold, before Peter decided to make his own wine in 1999. Peter is an infamous gourmet with interest in food / wine matching and agronomy. He is still a frequent visitor to the property and loves a chat. In fact, you may find yourself side-tracked for some time should you choose to engage him in conversation. You have been warned.

Paula Hoffman (co-founder – retired)

Paula is a retired school teacher who is currently putting her market gardening skills to good use by growing several varieties of figs on the property. Paula is a descendent of foresters and market gardeners and brings a Socialist work ethic to the operation. Goes hard on the bottling line and usually has to be kept in check.

Paul Hoffman (Winemaker, CEO, Ecologist)

After 25+ years of growing up on the property, Paul assumed winemaking duties mainly as a way of reducing the amount of money he spends on wine. Following the failure of this plan, he has been forced to take on the day to day running of the business in order to pay for his expensive lifestyle. After initial studies in Viticulture and Oenology, Paul became concerned with the increasing industrialisation of wine and ended up graduating with Environmental qualifications. Working as an Environmental consultant allowed him to travel, where he discovered the natural wine scene while on a particularly anarchic trip to the Loire Valley in 2007. Like a prodigal son, he returned to the farm in 2010, determined to work naturally or not at all.

Bree Lavell (Sales, Social Media and Marketing)

Bree is a qualified Naturopath with a weakness for wine. Bree runs our increasingly sophisticated social media suite and spends much of her time running around after little Ivy. Bree’s interest in wine goes back to when she was 16 and raiding her father’s wine cellar. In this way she developed a love of the classic Australian varieties and wisely, an aversion to animal themed wine labels. Travelling the world and living in France, Canada and the UK, she developed her hospitality skills working in various wine bars, restaurants and cafes. Combining her love for organic produce and wine, Bree is always looking forward to introducing our natural wines to the general public as well as potential stockists.

Rhys Parker (Winemaker and Collaborator)

Parksey and Paul grew up together and have shared similar career paths. After his combative style of Environmental Science was no longer tolerated in WA, Rhys retrained as an Oenologist and is fast becoming an integral part of this business. After consuming many substances over the years, we were almost surprised when he graduated as the top sensory student in his class. Despite his undoubted technical ability, Rhys still finds himself doing some of the hardest jobs in the winery, such as waxing concrete vats and lifting cartons of grapes. Rhys and Paul also have a side project which is coming soon.

Where?