This is a remarkable 17-year story of a freewheeling youth that almost accidentally led William Rikard-Bell into a career as a winemaker. Halfway through the journey he made national headlines when an explosion at Drayton Family Wines in the Hunter Valley killed two others and left William with serious burns to 70% of his body, his life hanging by a thread and a two-year recovery ahead. His first job as winemaker had been at Canobolas Smith in Orange, and after interludes in Bordeaux, Mudgee and the Hunter, he returned to Orange in '11. Together with wife Kimberley (and their two young daughters) he began small batch contract winemaking in '15, bought land at 1040m the following year, planting chardonnay and pinot noir. Plans for a winery and cellar door (with 'killer views') were underway in late '18, having passed through council approval. He clearly has an innate feel for making Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and the future is bright. Watch this space.
We are producers of tiny parcels of ultra-premium, hand crafted wines from selected cool climate sites within the Orange wine region of NSW. It is the passionate endeavour of award winning winemaker William Rikard-Bell and his wife Kimberley.
We love Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. We focus on making them because no other varieties reflect a sense of place quite like they do. And we love what can be done with them in Orange. Orange’s high altitude vineyards are difficult to replicate anywhere else in the country and make for exciting wines.
We strive to inspire confidence and push the limits of what’s possible for the Orange wine region.