Rod Hooper – Group Chief Winemaker
An accomplished winemaker with over 30 vintages to his name, Rod’s winemaking philosophy begins in the vineyard, where the least amount of intervention possible is applied to the growing of terroir suited grapes of the highest quality.
Rod gained international winemaking experience with vintages in California, France and Germany and has worked as winemaker for Penfold’s, Hardy’s, Goundrey and Leasingham. He was involved in the establishment of the Queensland wine industry in the mid 80s, and has also spent time judging several regional, state and national wine shows over the years.
Rod spent several years making wine at Charles Sturt University, where he taught winemaking and viticulture. Rod has spent the last decade realising his passion making preservative free and organic wines for his Macaw Creek and the Em’s Table brands. At last count he has won 30 trophies, including 51 gold, and more than 300 other medals.
Debbie Lauritz – Senior Winemaker
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.
Debbie’s winemaking philosophy is ‘let the fruit do the talking’, she believes the fruit should be the main focus of all our wines, with oak, yeast and other secondary characteristics supporting and enhancing the total varietal character. Debbie has won a plethora of medals over her 10 year career with Cumulus Wines and participated in the Advanced Wine Assessment Course with the AWRI, and judges various wine shows in Orange, New South Wales and Riverina.
David Richards – Winemaker
David Richards studied Viticulture & Winemaking at University of Western Sydney and started working as a cellar hand in New Zealand from 2007. He commenced as an Assistant Winemaker in 2010 when he moved to Langhorne Creek, and then as a winemaker in Mudgee.
In 2014, David joined Beelgara in Griffith as a winemaker and moved to Orange after the Cumulus Estate Wines acquisition in 2015. David is an integral member of the Cumulus Wines winemaking team and has completed 17 vintages in 11 years, in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA & Turkey.