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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.
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.