© 2020 by The FABAL Group Pty Ltd.

VINEYARD MANAGEMENT

David Olssen
Group Viticulturalist

David was employed by FABAL in January 2005. He has experience in warm and cool climate viticulture having previously worked in the Coonawarra for Beringer Blass Wine Estates and prior to that for McGuigan Wines in the Riverland. He also has a working knowledge of the Clare Valley through his involvement in a local family vineyard development. David has also spent time in New Zealand in the Marlborough and Gisborne wine regions.

Russell Schutz
Regional Manager

Russell joined FABAL in 1997 as the Assistant Vineyard Manager at Marandoo Estate at Langhorne Creek, becoming the Vineyard Manager in 2000. Russell has since advanced to the role of Regional Manager where he oversees vineyards in McLaren Vale, Langhorne Creek and Heathcote in Victoria.

Russell had 10 years experience in vineyard management and vineyard development when he ran Murphy & Schutz Pty Ltd. He has also had 10 years experience in the building industry. As Regional Manager he supervises technical staff, co-ordinates vintage within the company and in conjunction with the wine and transport companies and works alongside the Group Viticulturalists to maintain the vineyards at peak production.

Nick McDonald
Vineyard Manager (Kayinga, Langhorne Ck)

Nick joined FABAL in 2001 as Vineyard Manager responsible for Kayinga Vineyard. Nick has over 20 years’ experience in the wine industry having previously managed a 60ha vineyard in the Adelaide Hills, was Viticulturist for a vineyard management and development company in Western Australia, a winemaker in south west France for a UK winemaking consultancy, Technical Assistant atTreasury's 1,300ha Coonawarra Vineyards and Technical Assistant in their central region.

He graduated from the University of Adelaide in 1995 with a degree in Agricultural Science, majoring in Viticulture, 

Richard Bateman
Regional Manager (Bantry Bay, Margaret River)

Richard commenced employment with FABAL in 2018  as Vineyard Manager of Bantry Bay Vineyard in Margaret River Western Australia.

Richard is responsible for all aspects of the operations and management of the vineyard.

Tony Lees
Vineyard Manager (Padthaway & Limestone Coast)

Tony started with FABAL in 2001, and was heavily involved in managing the contractors used at Marandoo Estate. His dedication, enthusiasm and skills saw him promoted in 2004 to Vineyard Manager for Bell’s Padthaway Entrance Vineyard.
Prior to working for FABAL, Tony spent 6 years, in the early 80’s, in the Royal New Zealand Navy before working in construction for almost 10 years and then briefly as a stock auditor. He then worked for 2 years as a vineyard hand at vineyards in the McLaren Vale area and for 2 years as an Assistant Manager at Mt Compass.

Jon Baldwin
Vineyard Manager (Langhorne Creek)

As the Marandoo Vineyard Manager Jon currently manages over 360 hectares of vineyards and oversees 10 technical staff.

Jon Baldwin joined FABAL in 1995 as a vineyard hand at Marandoo Estate, Langhorne Creek. Then in 1997 Jon was given the opportunity to become an Irrigation Coordinator which was a long and successful role. In 2001 he gained promotion to assistant manager which he undertook for eight years. His dedication to FABAL and viticulture knowledge has taken Jon to the role of Manager for Marandoo Estate which took effect mid 2009.

Brad Currie
Vineyard Manager (Barossa Valley)

Brad started with FABAL in 2002 as a vineyard hand in the Barossa Valley. In 2006 he was promoted to Vineyard Supervisor and in 2009 he became Vineyard Manager of the Barossa Valley.

In 2007 Brad worked a vintage in Sonoma County California for Simi Wines to further his knowledge in the winemaking side of the industry.

Brad has a boutique wine label with two other partners that make small quantities of wine from Clare and Barossa Valleys.

Troy Hine
Vineyard Manager (Heathcote Ridge)

Troy started with FABAL in January 2015, where he manages the Heathcote Ridge Estate in Victoria. 

He has been working in agriculture since 2001, first starting on Apple Orchards and Tomato Farms in country Victoria.

He began working on vineyards in 2004, as a vineyard hand, and in 2006 he joined the Timmering Wines Vineyard. There, he was promoted to Vineyard Manager in 2010, where he stayed until he joined FABAL at the start of 2015. 

Steve Sochacki
Vineyard Manager (New Belvidere Estate)

Steven started with FABAL 1/10/2001 as Vineyard Supervisor at our Kayinga Vineyard (240ha) in Langhorne Creek. His viticulture journey started as vineyard hand with Pernod Ricard Winemakers before joining the FABAL family in 2001.

Steven’s self-motivation, dedication and being an effective team player who demonstrated competency in all areas of vineyard operations, saw him promoted to Vineyard Manager at FABAL’s Belvidere Vineyard (152ha) in 2012.