Simon’s dedication to the site has seen him celebrate 20 years as viticulturist of Devil’s Lair. Simon is charged with the management, direction and growing of 130 hectares of premium Margaret River vineyards planted with eight varieties including Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot.
Simon’s vision for the Devil’s Lair vineyards is simple: in partnership with winemaker Ben Miller, he seeks to cultivate the best possible Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay and continue Devil’s Lair’s benchmark-setting reputation for these varieties and the Margaret River region.
For Simon, this is both his passion and his predicament. Viticulture is a constantly evolving pursuit, always at the mercy of Mother Nature and never the same each year. This is, of course, what drives this passionate, competitive and mildly outrageous viticulturalist to do the thing he loves most with a brand he lives and breathes. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when Simon’s formal wine industry experience began. Simon was born into a winemaking family and grew up in South Australia’s Coonawarra region, viticulturally renowned its significant terra rossa soils. Internationally, Simon has worked in both the new and old wine worlds at Chateau Villars in Bordeaux and the Swanson Vineyards in the Napa Valley. Closer to home, Simon honed his skills at some of the renowned South Australian vineyards, including Petaringa, Rouge Homme and Penfolds. Simon’s expertise is anchored to academic qualifications and years of industry training.
Simon has completed a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture specialising in viticulture from Charles Sturt University, has undertaken a number of technical wine assessment courses and numberous training programs in specific viticultural practices in order to stay abreast of changes in the industry.