Warmth, honesty and integrity are a way of life at St Hallett, and our tight-knit crew of winemakers best exemplify the St Hallett spirit.
The winemaking team’s extensive experience, continuous sense of evolution, respect for the Barossa region and St Hallett’s rich Barossa heritage, underpins the quality and integrity of St Hallett wine.
Stuart Blackwell, Brand Ambassador
Stuart Blackwell’s winemaking career spans more than four decades, two continents and four regions.
The consistency, reliability and diversity of the Barossa’s grapes and the availability of old vine fruit lured him to stay in the world-famous region.
Following a stint in McLaren Vale, Stuart first joined St Hallett in 1972 in an era when fortified wine was king.
In 1975 Stuart travelled to South Africa to diversify his winemaking experience. A three-year sabbatical turned into a seven-year stint in Africa where he established a winery in Zimbawe (known then as Rhodesia) and met his wife Faith.
He returned to Australia and St Hallett in 1984 and has fulfilled many roles at the winery including General Manager, Chief Winemaker and Head Greenkeeper.
During this time he has overseen a shift to table wine and has established St Hallett as one of the Barossa’s most iconic producers of Shiraz and Riesling.
Stuart’s wines have received many accolades in domestic and international wine shows throughout his career and he was recognised as ‘Barossa Winemaker of the year’ by his peers in 2003 and became a Baron of the Barossa in the same year.
Stuart cites the evolution in style and quality of St Hallett wines and the broad distribution into some of the world’s finest restaurants as his proudest achievements.
The pedigree and esteem of Old Block shiraz and Blackwell Shiraz are a testament to his abilities and commitment to the Barossa and St Hallett.
Helen McCarthy, Senior Winemaker
Helen was born in England and moved with her family to Australia in 1988.
In 1997, Helen took a leap of faith and enrolled in a winemaking degree at the University of Adelaide. On completion of her degree, Helen set about gaining invaluable experience with wineries such as Lindemans, Wynns, Seppelts and Penfolds.
In 2003, Helen’s passion for Riesling saw her make a move to work in Clare Valley (but still lived in the Barossa). During her time at Taylors Wines she was awarded the Gourmet Traveller Kemeny’s Medal for Young Winemaker of the Year and was awarded People’s Choice Wine Society Young Winemaker of the year. She also won a scholarship to participate in the prestigious Len Evans Tutorial and was part of the Wine Industry Future Leaders Program. She also commenced a wine judging career that has seen Helen be involved in countless numbers of wine shows.
The calling of the Barossa became too strong and saw Helen return to a Barossa winery at the end of 2011. It was during her time at Thorn-Clarke Wines that Helen’s passion for the Barossa but particularly Eden Valley was cemented. While working at Thorn-Clarke, Helen was awarded both the Peer and Consumer The Wine Society Young Winemaker of the Year. Many of her wines were recognised both domestically and internationally. Helen also completed a Master of Business Administration in Sustainable Business during this period.
In 2015 Helen became the custodian of the Eden Valley icon Mountadam Vineyards. Her passion for Eden Valley was again deepened.
Helen joined St Hallett in 2019 and is looking forward to working with fruit grown all over the Barossa but is particularly excited to once again be working with Eden Valley fruit.
Darin Kinzie, Winemaker
Darin grew up on a vineyard in California where wine was always a part of his life.
A deeper curiosity in winemaking led him to Sonoma where he worked for Gallo in the laboratory, the cellar in 2001, and experimental winery in 2002.
With a desire to further his education, Darin moved to Adelaide, Australia in 2003 where he studied Oenology and viticulture at the University of Adelaide.
While attending University, he worked in the vineyards of McLaren Vale, combining practical experience with his academic training.
Darin spent the next nine years between California and Australia. After joining St Hallett in the Barossa Valley in 2007 he returned to California to work vintages at legendary Pinot producer Williams Selyem in 2009 and the cool climate Sonoma Coast Peay Vineyards in 2009. He was made Assistant Winemaker upon his return to St Hallett in 2009.
Darin returned to California in 2012 as an Assistant Winemaker for Boisset Family Estates, working between Napa, Sonoma and Monterey, and in 2013 Darin was made Winemaker for Lockwood Vineyards in Monterey.
But Darin’s love of the Barossa Valley and St Hallett never left him and the lure of working with the best of Barossa Shiraz and Eden Valley Riesling enticed him back to St Hallett.
In 2014 Darin re-joined the St Hallett team as a winemaker, focusing on the premium wines of Old Block, Single Vineyards, and Eden Valley white wines.
Jeremy Ottawa, Winemaker
Jeremy was born and raised in the suburbs of Sydney, New South Wales, where his love of the outdoors and all things green resulted in a career land scaping the leafy suburbs of Sydney.
In 2000, Jeremy gained his first taste of the wine industry when he worked two vintages at Barossa Vintners in the Barossa Valley. It was a taste of a life in which Jeremy found his calling, and in January of 2002, he began his journey as a winemaker with St Hallett.
In 2006, Jeremy packed his Barossa bags to back pack his way through the harvest period of Northern Spain from Priorat to Toro. Dropping into wineries along the way, Jeremy gained international experience and lived a day in the life of as many wineries as was possible.
In 2012 Jeremy sunk his teeth into the rebirthing of Tatachilla, however in 2018 the lure was too strong and Jeremy happily returned to St Hallett to continue his passion and skills in crafting premium Barossa wine.