Skip to main content
Langhorne CreekNew AppointmentsNews

Bleasdale’s gun winemaker steps down

By Wednesday 8 May 2024No Comments

After 17 vintages at the helm of Bleasdale Vineyards in Langhorne Creek, senior winemaker Paul Hotker is handing the reins to Matt Laube.

Matt has worked alongside Paul as the operations winemaker for the past 15 years. He will be assisted by Sam Rowlands who has been promoted to winemaker.

Bleasdale employed Matt after vintages at Yalumba and Bay of Fires and in Oregon.

Like Paul, he has a horticultural background.

Paul says he has strived to ensure Bleasdale wines display distinct varietal and regional character above all else, with minimal display of artefact or influence of winemaking.

“The winemaker’s first job is to preserve the fruit to be enjoyed for years as a preserved capsule of the time and place,” he says.

“Matt knows our vineyards, people and the winery intimately, and after eight years of working together, we’ve developed an excellent partnership.

“With four great vintages in a row, plenty of good wine in the pipeline and a continuous improvement culture that we have built together, now is the time for me to move on and allow Matt to take the lead,” Paul says.

Paul cut his teeth in various roles around Australia before and during his studies, and on graduating from the University of Adelaide (Waite) in 2002, he accepted a role at Nautilus Wines in New Zealand as vineyard manager and assistant winemaker.

In October 2007, Paul began making wine for Bleasdale, where he won the respect of the Australian wine community including James Halliday.

“There’s an argument to say that the Bleasdale winery, both historically and most certainly at the hand of winemaker Paul Hotker, should be regarded as every Australian wine lover’s best friend,” says Halliday.

“There was no doubt a great foundation and culture to build on, in vineyards and growers, people and history, but the work of Bleasdale’s head winemaker Paul Hotker cannot be understated. He and his team are relentless in their determination to work magic.”

During Paul’s time as senior winemaker Bleasdale and its clients won more than 80 trophies and 300 gold medals.

Bleasdale chair Robert Edwards says Paul displayed an “unparalleled commitment to getting the wine right” during his tenure.

“During Paul’s career at Bleasdale, the winery has won many awards and trophies, including the 2018 Halliday Winemaker of the Year, the 2019 Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy, the 2018 Max Schubert Trophy and the 2024 Halliday Winery of the Year,” Robert says.

“This is no easy feat, Paul and his team have worked tirelessly to improve the quality of our wines each and every year.”

Paul will stay on at Bleasdale in a consulting capacity.

Bleasdale this year is celebrating 174 years of continuous winemaking by the direct descendants of the founding Potts family.

Photo: Paul Hotker (left) with Matt Laube.

Leave a Reply