Winemakers

Patritti Winemakers Ben Heide and James Mungall

When Giovanni passed away in 1968, his winemaking legacy was handed down to his three sons Peter, John, Geoff and daughter Ines.

In 2001 Giovanni's grandson, James Mungall joined the business and took over winemaking duties in 2004. When he was joined by his friend and fellow oenology classmate, Ben Heide, in 2006 they began to experiment with premium and ultra-premium wines and alternative varieties.

JAMES MUNGALL

In 2001 Giovanni's grandson, James Mungall, joined the business and in 2004 James became Winemaker. As the third generation in a family of winemakers, turning grapes into wine comes naturally to James.

"I wasn't forced into it, I just grew up around the winery and never thought of doing anything else."

James, who is the son of Patritti's Managing Director, Ines Patritti, and one of two winemakers, says the business is a family affair.

"We have modernised the winery a lot in the last few years, but we have maintained the old school values and heritage. It means a lot to me, carrying on the business my grandfather started. When my Nonno came from Italy, he leased and then purchased a piece of dirt. It is the same dirt we are still making wine from and using the original cellar."

BEN HEIDE

Ben first began working part-time at Patritti in 2002 whilst studying Oenology at the University of Adelaide. Upon completing his undergraduate degree in 2003, Ben honed his skills in McLaren Vale before returning to Patritti as Winemaker.

In January 2006, Patritti restructured their winemaking department and Ben was asked to re-join the business as Winemaker. And so, after a short stint in McLaren Vale, Ben returned to the historic winery at Dover Gardens.

Over the years, Ben has been heavily involved in many changes and in some ways a total metamorphosis of the brand and image of Patritti. Today the focus has shifted towards premium wines and an adoption of 'new' and rare grape varieties that add depth and diversity to an already extensive portfolio.