Brett Proud

Sherwood Estates, Riverland

Brett Proud is a third generation grape grower from South Australia’s Riverland, with a strong family connection to the Loxton area and its wine industry dating back to the 1920s.

His grandfather JW Proud assisted with the commissioning of the Sherwood Irrigation Area, well before the Government-backed post-war settlement activity in the region.

Now, Mr. Proud, his partner Sandra, and his two brothers Andrew and Philip, operate the 150 hectare Sherwood Estates vineyard at Loxton North, producing around 3000 tonnes of fruit for wineries in SA and interstate. Cousin Linton is a neighbour who owns and operates 135 hectares.

 

The wine grapes, destined for both bottled and cask wine, include many varietals – ranging from Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Colombard, Frontignan White, Gordo, Mataro, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Pinor Noir, Riesling, Semillion, and Shiraz.

Mr. Proud says that growing wine grapes for the larger wineries has been important for Riverland viticulture. Riverland wine is Australia’s most popular wine, sold either in value-for-money casks, popular premium bottles, or exported around the world.

 “The Riverland climate allows us to produce excellent fruit. The quality is consistently high due to low disease pressure and advanced irrigation technology,” Mr. Proud said. “Environmentally it is better than bottles. Scandinavians lead by example. They are willing to purchase quality wine in casks and not be blinkered by preconceived ideas.”

Mr. Proud said of the 15 varietals grown on Sherwood Estates, it was most exciting to have 1.8 hectares of the Italian white Bianco d’Allesano. “By having larger areas planted to varieties such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Shiraz, and having a contract with a number of wineries, we now have the ability to explore the options of planting emerging and alternative varieties. We are looking more and more at Mediterranean varieties that produce high quality popular wines,” he said.

Mr Proud is a director of Sherwood Estates, a collaborative farming venture, based on the “Collaborative Farming Australia” principles.

 

Raise a glass to the cask!