Fetherston Vintners is the collaborative project of Chris Lawrence and Camille Koll. Having both spent significant time in hospitality and the wine industry, their deep love of food and wine forged a desire to create beautiful wines to share with those they love – an unstoppable force that simply had to happen.
The name Fetherston pays tribute to Chris’s late grandfather Gerald Henry ‘Tony’ Fetherston. Tony was an inspiring educator in the field of horticulture. Though he passed away when Chris was just four years old, Chris’s connection to Tony goes beyond a physical resemblance; it touches all elements of his life—a deep and intrinsic love of plants, growing ones’ own food and preparing it with heart, then teaming it with delicious wine. Tony’s interest in cooking embraced cuisines and cultures from all over the world, something that unites the two beyond the physical barriers of time. This love of plants was fundamental in leading Chris on his path towards winemaking and the wine industry.
Chris’s winemaking career began in the kitchen. Working as a chef for over 13 years, he applied his trade in establishments all over Australia. His time in the restaurant industry forged a deep love of wine and taught him the deeply complex organoleptic concepts of flavour, harmony and balance.
Chris graduated as valedictorian from his applied science degree (oenology) in 2014, with a faculty medal for science. While undertaking his degree, Chris worked as Assistant Winemaker at Yering Station and undertook a vintage internship at Domaine Serene in the Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA. These experiences gave him a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to make premium cool climate sparkling, chardonnay, pinot noir, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon.
In 2014 Chris took on the role of Winemaker at Sunshine Creek where he continues to focus on making premium Yarra Valley wine.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Camille is Yarra Valley born and bred, so it’s no wonder she has a profound love of cool-climate wine. Growing up in Hoddles Creek, she was surrounded by some of the Yarra Valley’s most prized vineyards. Her formative years were spent on the family farm, growing premium deciduous and ornamental trees, learning the craft of horticulture and working the land.
Camille spent seven years working for iconic sparkling wine producer, Domaine Chandon which gave her great insight into professional branding, marketing, customer service and the intricacies of fine wine. She’s the one who keeps the show on the road behind the scenes, while Chris swans about making wine!
Together Camille and Chris’s skills form the foundation of their dynamic team.
At Fetherston, we produce wines of great finesse that capture the purity of each vineyard site. In our winemaking we embrace the old world and the new, using the highest quality new French oak in moderation. We incorporate the stems in differing ratios to enhance aromatic and phenolic complexity; filter and fine sparingly and only when necessary, and allow for extended élevage when the wines demand it. We hope that our wines challenge, tantalise, stimulate, and fascinate. But most of all, we hope our wines bring joy, are paired with great food, and drunk in good company. Crafted to be approachable in their youth, they will develop and evolve over many years with careful cellaring. Throughout their life, their versatility will allow for exquisite pairings with a myriad of cuisines.
The Yarra Valley is our home; hence the heart of our portfolio is dedicated to single vineyard and subregional blends of chardonnay, pinot noir and shiraz. Each vintage has presented the opportunity to push the boundaries of quality, with fruit being sourced from some of the Yarra Valley’s most renowned vineyards.
Driven by curiosity, we also seek out lesser known varietals from further afield; crafting our own interpretations of wines that have captured our imagination. With a desire to take vineyard sustainability to another level, and have a deeper connection with the land we tend to our own parcel of Pinot Noir in Yarra Glen.