The Bass Phillip Team
United with a singular mission, to produce wines of purity and elegance that speaks of the terroir, the winemaking and winegrowing team led by Jean-Marie are the stewards of Bass Phillip. Armed with passion, together with a combination of experience and youth, we are truly fortunate to have this team shepherd our legacy.
John Durhan, Senior Winemaker
Born in Gosford and coming from a farming background, John says that kickstarted his interest in agriculture. He studied winemaking at what is now known as Charles Sturt University alongside Phillip Jones, and 40 years later, was selected by Phillip to join him at Bass Phillip. John has 40 vintages of winemaking under his belt that spans many great wineries across the length and breadth of Australia from Hunter Valley in NSW, Margaret River in WA and back to Geelong in Victoria.
During his 21 years in Cape Mentelle, where John became known as the “Cape Mentelle Legend”, John was responsible for the company’s range of premium wines and was influential in developing the style of restrained Chardonnay and highly popular Semillon Sauvignon that ultimately put Cape Mentelle on the map of every wine connoisseur. Not one to shy away from a challenge, John left Cape Mentelle to get “back into the coalface” of winemaking at rival Moss Wood. Following this stint, John started a wine consulting business, Wine and Vine Consulting, which he ran successfully before the itch to become a winemaker again saw him move to Plantagenet Wines.
His winemaking philosophy is based around the balance and harmony of both the structural components and flavour of wine in the glass. With the delicate grape that is Pinot Noir, this has been his singular passion to achieve his philosophy.
Respect for the quality of the fruit and to continue the success of the wines in Bass Phillip that reflect the terroir. This sums up John's approach to winemaking here in Bass Phillip. His ready smile and good humour makes every day a real pleasure to work with him here and we are privileged to have him onboard.