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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.
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.
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.
From early childhood I was actively involved in my family's winery, ‘Best's Wines' in Great Western. My experience over nineteen years involved wine making, growing, irrigation, harvesting, barrel cleaning, laboratory testing, blend decisions, bottling line management, wholesale and retail, marketing and promotions. In 1991 I travelled overseas for a couple of years, through North and South America, Europe and Kenya, experiencing farm life in South America, Kenya and was employed for a vintage in France. In 2004, I decided to leave the family business too further expanded my horizons outside of Best's, including experiences in the car retail trade, hospitality, recruitment and the marine industry. I have now returned to Best's in a new and challenging role, along with Nicole Major, to administer and grow the online wine club, and to enjoy the fun of cellar door.