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Melbourne wine culture owes a lot to Roy Moorfield

By Saturday 27 April 2024No Comments
Jeni Port pays tribute to prominent Melbourne wine identity Roy Moorfield who died recently.


The modern era of the Victorian wine industry is generally considered to have started with a new gen of winemakers in the 1970s who recognised the potential that lived in the soil, pioneers like Dr John Middleton (Mount Mary), Bailey Carrodus (Yarra Yering), Gary Farr (Bannockburn) and others.

But there was one man who knew that potential meant little unless the wine ended up in the hands of a wine consumer.

Roy Moorfield, who passed away three weeks ago at 74, was that man.

In the 1970s, Roy played an integral role in bringing about the sophisticated Melbourne wine culture widely celebrated today.

With Ross Duke he started the wine retailer, Duke & Moorfield, in 1971 in North Melbourne.

Saturday morning wine tastings, often with winemakers in attendance, became the entry point to wine for many a Melbourne wine lover, myself included.

“In those days the only way to create a wine market was to educate people,” Roy said.

Wine education en masse was his dream and the Exhibition of Victorian Winemakers was born in 1979, becoming an annual fixture for the next 30 years, at its height attracting 100 Victorian wineries and 30,000 visitors over a four-day event that included tastings, wine dinners and seminars.

Roy went on to become wine buyer/adviser for Cathay Pacific.

Always a lover of Chinese cuisine and wine – especially Pinot Noir – Roy created the Duck Crawl, an icon event for the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.

Vale Roy Moorfield, wine retailer, marketer, entrepreneur, buyer, writer, Legend of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and pathfinder.

Photo: Melbourne Sunrise Probus Club website.

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