Winemaker/viticulturist Tessa Brown graduated from CSU with a degree in viticulture in the late 1990s, and undertook postgraduate winemaking studies at Adelaide University in the mid-2000s. Her self-description of being ‘reasonably peripatetic' covers her winemaking in Orange in '99, and Canberra, SA, Strathbogie Ranges, Rioja and Central Otago, before joining Kooyong and Port Phillip Estate in '08. In '09 Mark Walpole showed Tess and architect partner Jeremy Schmolzer a property that he described as ‘the jewel in the crown of Beechworth'. When it came onto the market unexpectedly in '12, they were in a position to jump. The property (named Thorley) was 20ha, and cleared; they have planted chardonnay, shiraz, riesling and nebbiolo. By sheer chance, just across the road from Thorley was a tiny vineyard, a bit over 0.4ha, with dry-grown pinot and chardonnay around 20 years old. When they realised it was not being managed for production, they struck up a working relationship with the owners, getting the vineyard into shape, and made their first (very good) wines in '14.