Hi. I'm Jen Venardos, an ex South Australian now living in Queensland who married a Greek called Pete in my brother Chris's vineyard in 2011.
The vineyard is in the picturesque Adelaide Hills, about 3 kilometres out of Strathalbyn on the Sandergrove Road.
When Chris and his wife Alison offered to host our wedding in the Vineyard we were thrilled because its one of our most favourite places to be. The day was amazing and a true dream realised with all our close family and friends in attendance.
So, fast forward to now and you may ask, how on earth do 2 Queenslanders and a South Australian Farmer end up making wine together? This is the question posed to us whenever we mention our wine business because the logistics of Pete and I living in Brisbane, while Chris runs the vineyard in SA doesn't really make a lot of sense...right??
Basically, in February 2015 after arriving into SA for a visit to family I was at the local pub in Strathalbyn having dinner with my parents when Chris phoned to say that he had a tonne of Shiraz grapes available after contract supply. I suggested that this may be the year for us to have a go at finding a winemaker and having a Shiraz made? At least it would mean that something would be made out of what was looking like an absolute cracker of a vintage that year.
And so, over my phone call/pub meal on a very, very warm February evening in SA, the decision was made. We were going to make our own wine! Chris made some phone calls and as luck would have it, we scored the services of one of the finest wine makers in the state...an award winning wine maker no less by the name of Phil Christiansen. Little did we know at the time that the decision to go ahead that evening would lead us to where we are today..and beyond..?..well who knows, and that is what makes life so exciting!
We are not business geniuses, nor wine experts but we are very passionate about what we do and dedicated to bringing to the table a wine product devoid of short cuts. We hand pick the grapes in the cool of night to reduce any chance of fermentation between picking and delivery to the winemaker and ensure they are in premium condition. We brainstorm our label ideas and create a story around them that reflects our ideals and quirky senses of humour. We walk the vineyard every year on harvest and by taste, select the absolute optimum grapes that will be going into our wine. We are proud to bring to you a premium wine that you can enjoy with family and friends.
So far, we have produced our 2015 Shiraz and named it 'Chaste'. Chaste means virginal and pure and so this name perfectly embodies our initial endeavour into the Sandergrove Estate enterprise. Enjoy our 'Chaste' Shiraz...because everyone remembers their first.
We look forward to introducing our offerings for this year which will include a French Oaked Chardonnay, Shiraz, Shiraz Cabernet Blend and straight Cabernet Sauvignon.
We will also keep you posted on our unique Cellar Door initiative which will be launched towards the end of 2017.
Jen, Pete and Chris.
Jen, Pete and Chris - Sandergrove Estate.