Our Story

“From the moment we laid eyes on the land, we knew we had discovered something special…”

The Sanguine Estate Story

In 1996 recently retired Tony and Lyn Hunter purchased a farm but instead of building a house and buying farm animals as originally planned, they followed Tony’s love for wine, particularly Heathcote Shiraz and hand-planted some vines.

“I’ve always wanted a family business and assumed the chance had passed me by but I thought perhaps we could grow grapes and make our own wine,” says Tony.

Whilst none of the family members had any experience in growing grapes or making wine, they planted their first 16 acres in 1997 and then continued planting every year until they reached a total of 69 acres planted to 12 different varieties (85% Shiraz).

With the sellout success of their 2000 vintage of Shiraz (first vintage) in just 3 days, they knew they had something special and offered their Son Mark a full-time viticultural position initially and after understudying several winemakers, the full-time winemaking role from 2004.

Mark’s desire to produce great wine flows through every glass. Through organic vineyard practices and natural winemaking techniques combined with small batch processing and hand plunging, the purity and integrity of the wine is enhanced.

With 60 trophies under his belt and several hundred gold and silver medals, the family shed tears over how proud they are of his achievements.

He was clearly meant to be a winemaker with family winemaking roots dating back over 100 years ago with Mark’s Great Great Grandfather, Pietro D’Orsa leaving Italy in 1868 to make a new life in Australia and becoming a vigneron in the town of Maldon 100 km west of Heathcote. Since the discovery on our winemaking ancestor, we have found remnant vines, held our Great, Great Grandfathers rifle and tried on Pietro’s gold ring said to have been made from gold found in his mine in Maldon. Click here to read our winemaking history. The story will leave you with goosebumps!

Then along came Daughter Jodi. With a background in Management Consulting, Jodi joined the business in 2002 and slowly took over the reins from her father and mother to become the full time CEO.

Needing help to run the growing business, Jodi enlisted the support of her husband Brett to manage the numerous projects on a part time basis and her sister-in-law, Melissa (Mark’s wife) who took over the finances of the business to become Sanguine’s full time CFO as well as managing the Wine Club and wholesale sales. A true family affair