The Australian wine industry is mourning the passing of Golding Wines patriarch Greg Golding, pictured here with son Darren.
Greg, 75, died in a car accident in the Adelaide Hills last night.
He was a wonderful man much-loved and admired by the Hills wine community and beyond.
Greg went missing Friday afternoon, prompting a search and a Facebook plea from the family for information on his whereabouts and that of his missing ute.
Sadly, the search ended in tragedy early this morning.
“It is with the deepest sorrow that we inform you that we located Greg in the early hours of the morning but he had suffered an accident (on private property) and has sadly passed away,” the family said on Facebook.
“We are devastated beyond words that a life lived with such sparkle and humour has ended in such a sudden and tragic way.
“Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your well wishes, for spreading the word and for those of you who helped search through the night.
“To the lovely people who are still trying to contact me to help, thank you, thank you, but the search is now over.”
Greg was a very affable man who had a knack of making everyone he met feel special.
Described by many as funny and witty – and a little bit cheeky – Greg was one of the great characters of the Adelaide Hills wine community.
He loved chatting to visitors at cellar door and left a lasting impression on thousands of customers.
When WBM visited Golding Wines in June 2020 to see progress on the recovery of the vineyard following the Cudee Creek bushfire, Greg got emotional when reeling off all the good deeds the locals had done for him and his family.
Greg talked about the free loaf of bread he got from the bakery like he had won the lottery.
“People have been good to us,” he said.
Reflecting the community’s admiration for Greg and the Golding family, the Facebook post about his disappearance – and then the sad update about his passing – was shared more than 6,400 times.
Greg’s shock passing has led to an outpouring of sympathy for the family and many tributes on social media.
“Greg was a kind and beloved man who is dearly missed.” – James Hook.
“A beautiful, kind and hardworking man.” – Kaleigh Brown.
“We are so saddened to hear this terrible news that Greg has passed. He was such a beautiful, kind-hearted man who was always there for a chat when we dropped in and was the highlight of our visits. He always had stories to tell and always with a smile.” – Michelle Cain.
“Greg always made our visits to Golding so memorable – such a lovely man with a wonderful wit.” – Cheryl Corry.
“We met him when we visited the winery and he was so friendly he sat down and chatted to us for some time; told us he was just one of the workers. Even walked us to our cars. A very lovely man.” – Lynn Warren.
“We still remember when we came back the day after our wedding and helped us pack away all of our things into our ute without asking at all. And did it with a smile.” – Nicole Furniss.
Before the wine industry, Greg and his brother were in the apple and pear business.
Golding Wines bottled their first vintage in 2002 using fruit planted by Darren and his parents Greg and Connie seven years earlier.
The cellar door, one of the most popular venues in the Adelaide Hills and a favourite for weddings, will be closed this weekend.
WBM owners Anthony Madigan and Shayne Stanley and family extend our deepest sympathies to Greg’s wife Connie, and Lucy and Darren Golding and family.