What do I and Jo Irvine have in common? The only person in the world able to answer that question is myself, not - as you might guess - Jo. Because I'm sure that she doesn't know that in my younger days I was a part-owner of two greyhounds, neither of which were as fast as those they raced against. 'Levrier' is French for greyhound, and she has looked after retired racing greyhounds for 20 years, currently Maggie and Georgie, who hang out at her winery. The wines now she makes on her own account are given the names of famous racing greyhounds. All of which has precious little to do with Jo's second career as a skilled contract winemaker, when, aged 35, she gave up her occupation as a theatre nurse and joined her father Jim Irvine, having enjoyed gap years travelling internationally and doing vintages in the US. In a reversal of roles, she made wines for her father, notably his Grand Merlot, the last vintage in 2014, after which he sold his business. Jo was in no hurry to hang her shingle up until all the pieces were in place: grape supply, wine making, maturation and packaging. The old saying 'slow boat to China' fits well with Jo's wines.
My winemaking career began from a very early age. My father, James Irvine is known as the “Master Merlot Maker” and from the age of seven I followed him around the winery, undertaking the ritual tasting of ferments and wine blending. After leaving school, instead of following the natural path into winemaking, I studied to become a nurse. My career as an operating theater nurse spanned almost two decades, until I had what I refer to as a “mid-life crisis” and decided to follow my passion to become a winemaker. It is every winemaker’s dream to own their own label and in 2017 that dream came true with the release of my wines “Lévrier by Jo Irvine”. Lévrier, French word meaning greyhound, combines my love of winemaking and the advocacy I have for my greyhounds who have been a major part of my life for over 20 years. The love and respect I have for these gracious animals has led me to support the Greyhound Adoption Programme and adopt my two greyhounds, Maggie and Georgie who man the office daily. My first wine release was in October 2017 with the Lévrier Meslier Sparkling Rosé. This was an exciting release for me as Meslier is considered one of the rarest Sparkling varieties in the world. I also have another nine wines in my collection. I hope you enjoy my luxurious Lévrier wines as much as I enjoy creating them for you.
Meslier, pinot gris, merlot, zinfandel, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, shiraz.
NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION ENQUIRIES: Glenn Malycha firstname.lastname@example.org +61 8 8562 3888 / +61 427 388 340.
Victoria: Full Palate, Jeffrey Rohde PO Box 421, Box Hill VIC 3128 +61 3 9891 6769 / +61 411 124 726.
Look for Levrier by Jo Irvine in Fine Restaurants and Independent Bottle Shops