Craig Grafton - Chief Winemaker
Craig joined the Ferngrove Team in February 2018, after more than 11 years in various winemaking roles with Pernod Ricard.
Growing up on farmland bordering the northern fringe of the Barossa Valley, Craig had a grass roots entry into agriculture and gained his winemaking degree from Charles Sturt University in New South Wales. His interest and belief that ‘great wines start in the vineyard’ led him to return to study and earn a further degree in Viticulture, so he could better understand the intricacies of the grapevine.
Craig has experienced many countries and grape growing regions across the globe in a winemaking capacity. Internationally, he has spent time in the Bordeaux region of Southern France, Sonoma Valley in California, Nashik in India and Ningxia in North Central China. In Australia. Craig has made wines across the Barossa, Clare and Yarra Valleys, Geelong/Bellarine and Mildura regions.
Craig is responsible for the winemaking and stylistic direction of all Ferngrove wines across its Australian and International portfolio. A passionate Chardonnay and Malbec advocate, Craig enjoys working with the Ferngrove Great Southern vineyards to express the fruit purity of each vineyard site, “My philosophy is to proudly make Ferngrove wines of longevity, purity and freshness, true to their region and true to their site.”
Chris Zur - Vineyard Manager
Chris Zur grew up by the ocean in New South Wales and wanted to be a pro surfer. Either that or a cop. Nowadays the closest he gets to a policeman’s beat are the vineyards, which he patrols with pride. He first gained an interest in wine when visiting his brother-in-law’s Margaret River property in the late 1980s, and when the opportunity arose to work at Ferngrove in 1998, he didn’t need asking twice.
Chris is excited by the quality of Ferngrove’s vineyards and how the vines express each block’s subtleties.
Johnathon Watson Group Sales Manager
Johnathon Watson cut his teeth understanding consumer needs and expectations at the liquor retail coalface. He then toiled around the edges of the wine industry with buying roles across Perth and WA markets over a ten-year stint. His passion led to his first role in wholesaling at Beringer-Blass before honing his sales and wine knowledge with TWE in various senior roles in Perth.
Over the last 10 years Johnathon has been cementing his deep passion for the Great Southern region. As both a consumer and advocate he believes it provides a diversity of producers and varieties, that whilst unsung, are crafting wines which are truly world class.
Johnathon joined Ferngrove in 2018 where he has been unwrapping his passion with partners across Australia and the globe to converse and highlight our remote and unique part of Australia.
Andrew Blythe - Managing Director
Andrew Blythe started out in wine more than 20 years ago, with a role at John Coppins Wine Merchants. He enjoyed a rapid ascent that led to his appointment as Global Sales and Marketing Manager for the Palandri Wine Group in WA, which he joined at inception in 2001 before moving to Ferngrove in 2009. Now serving as Managing Director, he has always been unstinting in his passion and support for Western Australian wine.
He believes the Great Southern region is special for its remoteness, diversity of varieties and wine styles, which have a distinctive lightness of touch combined with ripeness of fruit – an unusual combination among Australian wine growing regions. Andrew is driven by the satisfaction of working with a great team, being involved with great wines from some of Australia’s best grape-growing regions and seeing consumers enjoy the fruits of the team’s labour.