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Our Team

Best’s Managing Director and Vineyard Manager – Ben Thomson

Best’s Great Western is today run by fifth generation family member, Ben Thomson, who has worked in the family business for over 28 years. Ben is passionate about maintaining our historical vineyards, many dating back to the 1860s. Ben has a love of the land and a fascination with applying new viticultural and harvesting techniques. You’ll often find Ben driving the tractors throughout the Best’s regional vineyards, tending to the vines and researching some of the more unique varietals planted. For a change of landscape, he’s also a keen water skier throughout the summer months, one of Ben’s Best Kept Secrets.

Best’s Winemaker - Justin Purser

Justin Purser brings extensive international experience and perspective to Best’s Wines. After graduating from Adelaide University with a Bachelor of Science in Oenology, he worked at Primo Estate Wines in South Australia (also the home of Joseph Wines) for three years. From there he moved overseas where he worked vintages at Peregrine Wines in Central Otago, New Zealand, well known for its premium Pinot Noir, and Azienda Brezza Giacamo e Figli in Barolo, producer of fine wines from Italy. Since 2008, he has been based at Domaine de Montille, Volnay, Cote d’Or in Burgundy where he supervised a team involved in the production of Grand Cru and Premier Cru wines.

Best's General Manager (Sales & Marketing) - Jonathan Mogg

Jonathan “Jono” Mogg was given an opportunity to work with the Thomson family at Best’s Great Western in 2008 as the first General Manager in the company’s long history. After working in National and State Sales & Marketing roles with several major wine brands in Sydney, Jonathan moved down to the small wine region with his wife and three children, the adventure was just beginning. The business at that time was struggling under the weight of slow sales and excess stock, as well as broken relationships with markets domestic and international. New agency distribution relationships were established and maintained by Jonathan from this time to the present. Jonathan led a lot of change in the business, the most important of which was an un-compromising focus on the Great Western wines from the original family owned vineyards, where previously the business was concerned with wines from vineyards in Swan Hill. Jonathan drives the whole business and brand renovation and Best’s are now involved in market leading and innovative marketing techniques including, social media, Consumer direct sales, Customer Relationship Management systems and evolving packaging to help tell the story of the Great Western region, wines and history.

Now based in NSW and working remotely, Jonathan visits the winery regularly to keep updated with all facets of production, cellar door, admin and finance.

Best's Cellar Door & Direct Marketing Manager - Samantha Ford

Samantha moved from the UK to Australia 2009 where she spent her time based in the Whitsundays as an Events Manager organising Weddings and Conferences. She then made the move down to Victoria in May 2015 after being presented with the opportunity to lead the Cellar Door team and Direct marketing function at Best’s Wines. With a hospitality background Samantha’s main focus is to increase the direct sales channel through the Cellar Door and online, provide unique experiences for Best’s customers and to increase visitation from regional tourism to the Grampians.