Debbie Lauritz - Senior Winemaker
Debbie's winemaking philosophy is ‘let the fruit do the talking’. Much of her time is spent in the vineyard, working with our viticulturists to bring out the exquisite fruit flavours that characterise Cumulus wines.
Starting with great fruit allows Debbie to focus on creating an elegant structure that complements modern cuisine, with moderate alcohol levels.
Debbie grew up in a wine loving family in Brisbane. In secondary school, Debbie was selected for a Rotary International Student Exchange Scholarship to France. Her host family lived in Burgundy, and it was this experience that ignited her great passion for premium wine.
An oenology graduate of the prestigious Adelaide University, Debbie has become a cool climate specialist, having made wine overseas in the cool regions of Alsace, France; Marlborough, New Zealand; Niagara, Canada; Sonoma, California, and here in Australia at Piper's River in Tasmania and in the Victorian High Country in Australia.
Now in the role of Senior Winemaker, Debbie relishes the challenge of taking high elevation wines to another level with the impressive resources of Cumulus Estate. In the last few years she has created some intriguing new additions to the Cumulus range, such as Sparkling Pinot Grigio Chardonnay, Moscato, and Rolling Pink. Watch this space for more of her innovative work.
Matt Atallah - Winemaker
From the rolling hills of the Hunter Valley to the bustling streets of Hong Kong and the allure of the European countryside, winemaker Matt Atallah’s love of wine has taken him around the world. A passion that began in the vineyards of his father’s Hunter Valley winery, he is now part of the winemaking team at Cumulus Estate Wines dedicated to producing the region’s finest cool-climate wines.
Following starting study in winemaking and viticulture at Charles Sturt university Matt took a job as a cellar hand at his father’s winery helping with production and cellar door promotional work.
After three years, Matt decided he needed to gain some experience in other areas of the wine industry and accepted a position in Hong Kong selling Australian wine into clubs, restaurants and hotels. He returned home in 1996 after 16 months, when he was offered a chance to work vintages with premium producers in the Yarra Valley, Hunter Valley and McLaren Vale as well as 5 consectutive vintages in the Rhone region in France.
Armed with renewed enthusiasm, Matt returned to University in 2003 to complete what he started back in 1989. Over the following seven years he completed degrees in Wine Science and Viticulture by correspondence through Charles Sturt University whilst working full time as Assistant Winemaker at Project Wine (formerly Langhorne Creek Winery).
Matt currently lives in Orange with his wife Hazel and two daughters, Caitlin and Phoebe. His loves outside wine are his family, rugby, cooking, martial arts, reading, SCUBA diving and hunting.