Paul Starr and Tammy Braybrook brought unusual academic knowledge with them when they established Sassafras Wines. Tammy has a science degree, has worked as an economist, and is now an IT professional and part-time florist. Paul has a PhD in cultural studies and intended to be an academic in humanities before a detour into environment work in government. Tammy knew Mark Terrell, of Quarry Hill, and the pair ended up working in the Terrell Vineyard with pruning and vintage work, leading to local college courses in winemaking. Paul worked at Eden Road cellar door on weekends for four years. History is an interest for both, and when thinking of heading in an altogether new wine direction, they read of what they describe as the ancestral method of making sparkling wine using the original yeast and fermentable sugar to create the mousse, bypassing disgorgement altogether.