Sanctuary Hill takes its name from the koala sanctuary situated on Mt Alexander above the vineyard. It has been a long way round for Simon Moten and Karen Abe; Simon's exposure to wine began at 13 when his father established the Asher boutique vineyard and winery in Geelong. Having graduated from Deakin University with a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in biochemistry, Simon commenced work with Lindemans in Karadoc. He thereafter moved to Foster's, at one stage being head brewer of Matilda Bay Brewery in WA. Winemaking remained in his blood, however, and in 1999 he and Karen began the establishment of a little over 4ha of shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and tiny blocks of cabernet franc and semillon. High-density planting and a number of other viticultural techniques are designed to maximise flavour and quality. The Savage Dog Cabernet Sauvignon is a relic of university days when one of the students tried to convince everyone that sauvignon was French for ‘savage dog', and the term has stuck.