John Retsas has announced his sole ownership of First Drop Wines, buying out friend and co-founder Matt Gant.
After 16 vintages, Matt decided it was time to break away from First Drop to pursue other interests.
In 2004, John and Matt established First Drop Wines, with the intent to put their stamp on the iconic regions of South Australia – Barossa, Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale.
Matt and his young family moved to Margaret River more than 10 years ago, with the distance between Western Australia and South Australia a major factor in his decision to forgo his part-ownership in First Drop Wines.
“Over the past 16 years, we have worked hard to build one of the most exciting and respected wineries in Australia,” John says.
“It’s been a fun journey and we’ve made a lot of amazing memories together.
“Matt’s been a big part of our success and we wish him all the best for the future.”
John says the change provided a timely opportunity to review First Drop’s organisational structure.
“I am a firm believer that great wineries attract great people, and fortunately for us, we have one of the most talented and experienced teams I have ever worked with,” John says.
“Our success is 100 percent based on the efforts of our people.
“We want to keep them happy and engaged.”
John will now head up the winemaking, production and sales functions.
He has given several employees greater responsibility in their respective teams – these being Anna Higgins, Jon Farley, Jen Verhees and Amy Shearer.
John is adamant that despite the ownership change, it is business as usual, with no change to the style or quality of the First Drop portfolio.
“We make wines with flavour, texture and a splash of funk,” John says.
“They’re exciting, diverse and deliciously drinkable. This won’t change.
“And we will continue to offer food experiences via our cellar door and tapas that extend our passion for great food and tasting experiences.”