Tim Pelquest-Hunt is the new chief winemaker of Orlando.
“To be entrusted with custodianship of an iconic and historic wine brand in Orlando is extremely humbling,” Tim says.
“Orlando was formulative in developing my love of wine, none more so than Steingarten Riesling, which was the first six-pack of wine I ever purchased.
“The rich tapestry of Orlando’s winemaking history reshaped the face of the Australian wine industry, defining regional classics and the concept of ‘sense of place’ in a glass.
“These are special wines from treasured places.
“Alongside a talented team, I look forward to continuing this legacy while influencing the evolution of wine styles that will excite palates everywhere.”
Tim takes over from Ben Thoman.
Tim started his career from humble roots at a Sydney wine store, where his talent for wine tasting led him to take a leap into winemaking, completing the Viticulture and Oenology graduate program at Lincoln University in New Zealand.
Tim brings experience from diverse winemaking regions including the Hunter Valley, Tasmania, New Zealand and Rheinhessen (Germany) as well as specialising in sparkling winemaking in West Sussex (UK) and Napa Valley (US).
In 2013 Tim returned to Australia as a winemaker with Orlando in the Barossa Valley, where he began his journey with Pernod Ricard Winemakers, including stints across Jacob’s Creek.
Tim was selected as a scholar for the 2022 Len Evans Tutorial, has been dux of the Australian Wine Research Institute’s Advanced Wine Assessment Course, is a wine show judge, and sits on the Barossa Wine Show committee.
Brett McKinnon, chief operations oOfficer for Pernod Ricard Winemakers says, “After nine years with the business, we are proud to see Tim stepping into the role of Orlando chief winemaker.
“He combines a wealth of global experience from wine regions all over the world with a passion and curiosity for winemaking.
“Tim is committed to maintaining brand quality and heritage whilst being an advocate for the sustainable growth of the Australian wine industry into the future.
“We look forward to seeing him continuing the success of the Orlando brand.”
Tim took over in May, overseeing the end of “an extremely strong vintage”.
Established in 1874 in the Barossa Valley by the Gramp family, Orlando grew rapidly in late 1890s and early 1900s thanks to the wine boom and Federation.
By the 1930s Orlando had a reputation for its wines and brandy and continued to grow their reputation into the 1950s and 1960s with their contribution to Australian wine technology.
Expansion continued with Pernod Ricard acquiring Orlando in 1989.
With 170 years of history, Orlando boasts more than 1,000 awards and accolades including for Steingarten Riesling, Jacaranda Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, Lawson’s Shiraz, Centenary Hill Shiraz and Lyndale Chardonnay, which has recently been awarded Best in Show at the 2022 Decanter World Wine Awards, naming it among one of the shows top 50 wines in the world.