Matt Laube is the new Senior Winemaker at Bleasdale Vineyards

May 10, 2024
By Cody Profaca

Langhorne Creek’s Bleasdale Vineyards has announced that Paul Hotker, Senior Winemaker for 17 years, will be passing on the top position to long-term colleague Matt Laube. 

Laube started working under Hotker’s leadership at Bleasdale in 2009, following on from vintages at Yalumba, Bay of Fires, and Oregon. 

Paul Hotker says that the 15-years he has spent working with Matt Laube under his wing will increase the ease of the handover. 

“Matt knows our vineyards, people, and the winery intimately, and after years of working together, we’ve developed an excellent partnership,” he said.

“We know how each other thinks, preferences and approaches to wine. We always look for the positive in each vintage, vineyard, and barrel, what it brings to the blend and how we can improve the result.

“For 90% of the time, we’re on the same page, and the other 10% involves some robust discussion, but we’re mates, so we get there in the end.”

Under Paul Hotker’s leadership, Bleasdale Vineyards has collected more than 80 trophies and 300 gold medals, with momentum building over recent years. Part of this success has been driven by Hotker’s focus on championing regional and varietal characteristics across all of its wines. 

“The winemaker’s first job is to preserve the fruit to be enjoyed for years as a preserved capsule of the time and place,” said Hotker.

“With four great vintages in a row, plenty of good wine in the pipeline and a continuous improvement culture that we have built together, now is the time for me to move on and allow Matt to take the lead.” 

Paul Hotker’s winemaking has been largely responsible for propelling Bleasdale Vineyards’ reputation to what it is today. This includes notable recognition from James Halliday, who said that “the Bleasdale winery, both historically and most certainly at the hand of winemaker Paul Hotker, should be regarded as every Australian wine lover’s best friend… He and his team are relentless in their determination to work magic.” 

In 2013, Bleasdale welcomed in new shareholders, which has helped propel the nation’s second oldest family winery to new heights. This includes Paul Hotker being named James Halliday’s winemaker of the year for 2018 in addition to numerous accolades across its portfolio.

“During Paul’s career at Bleasdale, the winery has won many awards and trophies, including the 2018 Halliday Winemaker of the Year, the 2019 Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy, the 2018 Max Schubert Trophy, and the 2024 Halliday Winery of the Year,” said Robert Edwards, Bleasdale Board Chair.

“This is no easy feat, Paul and his team have worked tirelessly to improve the quality of our wines each and every year.” 

Bleasdale Vineyards has announced that Sam Rowlands will assume the Winemaker position vacated by Laube.

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