Team

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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. 

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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.

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Adam (Skip) Francis, General Manager 

After a successful career in the construction industry, Skip left his life in Adelaide with his wife Dimity and two children, they moved over to Victoria to head up the Bass Phillip team.  He has done several vintages over the years with Jean-Marie Fourrier in Burgundy and has a great passion for learning the art of wine making.  He says he is delighted to be on the team and looks forward to welcoming you at the Domaine.  Outside of work, Skip loves to brew his own beer, cook up a storm on the barbie and play the guitar whilst spending time with his wife and two girls.

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Michael (Mick) Kelly, Vineyard Manager

Mick has been quietly working at Bass Phillip since 2002 and says he learnt everything he knows about viticulture today from Phillip Jones.  Nobody knows these vineyards better than Mick does and there are no great wines without great vineyards.  At Bass Phillip the great vines are mainly thanks to this man here.  Mick is quiet by nature, loves and has extensive knowledge about nature and the environment. We are very proud to have Mick with us to continue the Bass Phillip story.

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Liam Beletich, Vineyard & Winemaking Assistant

Liam has an environmental science Degree and enjoys applying this knowledge to his work in the vineyard. He also has a family history rich in winemaking, galvanising his enthusiasm for the industry. Liam joined the Bass Phillip team under Phillip Jones in late 2019.  We do like to think of him as the Swiss army Knife at the winery, as he is up for anything whether it be driving the tractor or topping up the barrels.  Liam enjoys photography and surfing in his free time. We are thrilled to have Liam’s enthusiasm, passion and young blood on the team.

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Dimity (Dim) Beggs, Head of Administration & Marketing

Dimity comes from a family farming background and has more recently been working in service delivery in the community sector.  Dimity has a “there are no problems, only solutions” philosophy and although she spends most of the time in the office, as soon as she gets the opportunity, she is out in the vineyards or at the winery getting her hands dirty.  Dimity says she is so happy to take on this new role and can’t wait to welcome you at the winery.