In 1997 when Scott Ireland and partner Jan Lilburn established Provenance Wines, they knew it wouldn't be easy starting a winery with limited capital and no fixed abode. The one thing the business had was Scott's over 36 years' experience operating contract wine filtration and bottling services, moving from winery to winery in the Hunter Valley, Barossa, Coonawarra, Mudgee, Clare Valley, Yarra Valley and Tasmania regions. He says he met so many dedicated small winemakers that he was hooked for life. In 2004 he moved to Austins & Co, the largest winery in Geelong. Scott was Austins' winemaker, but with their knowledge and consent he continued to grow the much smaller Provenance business, developing key relationships with growers in Geelong, the ultra-cool Macedon, Ballarat and Henty. Scott took a long-term lease of 25% of the Fyansford Paper Mill, and refurbished the heritage-listed buildings. Built out of local bluestone on the banks of the Barwon River on the outskirts of Geelong, this 1870s industrial complex provides excellent wine cellar conditions. Sam Vogel is now a partner in the business.
From our early genesis to today, Provenance has existed to achieve the one simple goal: to make great wines that reveal the fruit quality of special vineyards. The search for vineyards of special provenance began in the mid '90s when Scott Ireland settled in the Geelong region. Keen to work with excellent vineyards west and south of Melbourne, it didn't take long for him to realise that a great prospect existed. An opportunity to bring under the one umbrella, a patchwork quilt of vineyards where the match of grape variety to vineyard site produced great fruit. Provenance Wines was born, the name chosen in recognition of the source vineyards.