Kym Ludvigsen - Founder & M.AppSci (Agric), Grad.Dip.Wine, Grad.Dip Agric.
Kym had been involved in the wine industry since the early 1970’s & had worked in most viticultural areas in a variety of roles. He gained vast experience in viticulture & wine making over the nearly 40 years of wine industry work in Australia.
He was once quoted as saying “viticulture is my life” and has been teased by his peers ever since. Always up for a drink, chat & a long lunch he enjoyed the wine life. Sadly Kym passed away in December 2013.
Kym established his viticulture consultancy based on 34 years’ experience in the Wine Industry in 2002. He established his own 14 hectare vineyard in 2003 and wine label in 2006, specialising in Shiraz from the Great Western sub-region of the Grampians.
Kym was the Victorian Regional Grape Supply Manager responsible for company and grower vineyards for Southcorp from 1994 until 2002. From 2004 until 2009 Kym worked with Taltarni Vineyards as the company Viticulturist responsible for vineyards in Victoria, Tasmania and for grape growers supplying grapes. Between 2006 and 2008 he was responsible for the establishment of 15 hectares of vineyard in the Pyrenees wine region and 30 hectares in Tasmania.
He was also the Chairman of the Australian Vine Improvement Association and a Board member and past Chairman of the Victorian and Murray Vine Improvement Association. Progressing vine improvement issues was a passion where Kym worked hard to make a difference in how grape growers source their vines within Australia.
He was a member of the National Vine Health Steering Committee & the Victorian Viticultural Bio-security Committee. Kym had been a member of the Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference on several occasions & was the Workshop Coordinator for the Cool Climate Grapevine Technical Conference held in Melbourne in 2000.
Kym had been a regular contributor to a number of Australian wine magazines. He has published numerous articles in publications such as the Australian and New Zealand Grapegrower and Winemaker, the Australian and New Zealand Wine Industry Journal and the National Grapegrower.
Leigh Clarnette - Founder & Our Winemaker
Leigh started making wine in the Yarra Valley at Miller’s Chateau Yarrinya back in 1984, after graduating from South Australia’s Roseworthy College. As a Melbourne boy, going to the Yarra Valley was a great opportunity. After a three year stint, the lure of Tarrawarra Estate beckoned and Leigh spent four fantastic years making the quality Chardonnay & Pinot Noir table wines & sparkling base wines for Domaine Chandon prior to them establishing their own winery in the Yarra Valley.
At the start of the 1990s, Leigh joined Padthaway Estate in South Australia & continued to make Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sparkling wine in the first traditional champagne press in Australia housed in a refurbished woolshed.
The recession of the 1990s left everybody’s pockets empty and it was back to Victoria & Seppelt Great Western. From 1993 and for the next six years, Leigh was in winemaking heaven.
The best Shiraz in the country was being made at Seppelt where a great team were making amazing wines including the prize-winning Chalambar Shiraz and Great Western Shiraz (the pre-runner to St Peters Shiraz).
It was during a visit to Tasmania in late 1993, whilst both Leigh and Kym were working for Seppelt, that Leigh met Kym for the first time. A business relationship and friendship was formed and over subsequent years they traveled across country visiting vineyards at a frenetic pace.
Touring with Kym gave Leigh new insight into grape growing and a viticultural education that was second to none. These new insights offered Leigh a different perspective in winemaking and he felt he was truly learning from the master!
1999 came and Leigh was ready for his next big challenge and headed off to Nagambie to establish an advanced bottling facility for McPherson Wines, but with that challenge conquered, winemaking was once again on the agenda.
At the end of 2002, Taltarni Vineyards in the Pyrenees of Victoria called and for the next four years it was home. Shiraz, Cabernet, Sauvignon Blanc and Sparkling wine; what more could a winemaker want?
Early in 2005 Kym joined Taltarni as Viticulturist, and again Leigh and Kym were working side by side. Kym ensured that only the best fruit was purchased and that the Taltarni vineyards were of the highest possible standard. Innovation, travel and friendship were the hallmarks of their time, frequently travelling between Tasmania and Victoria.
Leigh now leads the team at Montara Winery in the Grampians, and it is here that Clarenette & Ludvigsen Shiraz is made.
This small, intimate winery is the perfect place to nurture small parcels of special wines, where attention and care are at the forefront. This will be the home of Clarnette & Ludvigsen for some time.