New chief winemaker for Bethany Wines
One of the Barossa Valley’s oldest wine families has employed its first non-family chief winemaker in six generations. The Schrapel family of Bethany Wines (tastings) has taken on Alex MacClelland, who was thrown in at the deep end, as he started work at Bethany in March, just as the first grapes of the 2017 vintage were rolling in.
According to sixth generation family member Tania Schrapel, who is the sales and marketing manager, it’s the first time the winery has employed a chief winemaker.
“Previously, we employed a winemaker to assist Geoff and Rob (Schrapel) in the cellar. Now, with Geoff and Rob looking at being less hands-on, Alex is taking the lead as the winemaker.”
Brothers Geoff and Rob remain directors of the company.
MacClelland has made wine in the Rhône Valley, Burgundy and New Zealand before returning to Australia.
Bethany Wines has its winery in a former stone quarry at Bethany, which was the first white settlement in the Barossa. The Schrapels arrived in South Australia in 1844 and planted their first vineyard in the Barossa in 1852. They initially sold their grapes and it wasn’t until the fifth generation, Geoff and Rob, came along that a winery was built and a brand established.