Managing Director and Vineyard Manager
Best’s Great Western is today run by fifth-generation family member, Ben Thomson, who has worked in the family business for over 30 years. Ben is passionate about maintaining Best's historically important 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.
National Sales Manager
Graeme Hogan looks after all things sales st Best's Wines. From a single bottle sale at cellar door to a multi-case order on the other side of the globe, Graeme is keen to ensure the experience of all our customers is positive. Graduating from Queensland University of Technology with a business degree, Graeme has worked with wine companies of all sizes. From multi-nationals such as Pernod Ricard and Constellation Brands to boutique family businesses such as Pirramimma, Graeme has become a well-known identity in the Australian wine trade. When he’s not selling another case of Best’s wine, he can be found at the footy supporting his beloved Bombers in the AFL or tearing up a golf course.
Justin Purser brings extensive international experience and perspective to Best’s Wines. After graduating from Adelaide University with a Bachelor of Science in Oenology, Justin 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 Giacomo e Figli in Barolo, producer of fine wines from Italy.
Between 2008 and 2011, Justin supervised a team at Domaine de Montille, Volnay, in Burgundy, where he oversaw the production of Grand Cru and Premier Cru wines. In November 2011, Justin relocated from France for his role as Winemaker at Best’s.
Best’s patriarch, Viv Thomson, and his son Ben, Managing Director and Vineyard Manager, have worked with Best’s winemakers for the last 40 years to ensure continuity of house style while encouraging the winemakers to constantly seek out ways to innovate and improve.
Joint Cellar Door Supervisor
Hamish like all of his family, has been involved in his family's winery since early childhood. Starting out he suckered vines and cleaned barrels, working in every area of the business before settling into a role of sales and marketing. In the early 1990's Hamish travelled overseas for a couple of years, including a vintage in France. In 2004, Hamish left to expanded his work horizons outside of Best's. He has now returned in a new and challenging role, along with Nicole Major, to administer and grow the online wine club, look after Best's loyal fans and to enjoy the fun of operating the busy cellar door.
Born and raised in a small New Zealand country town, Brigitte studied a degree in viticulture and oenology at Lincoln University in Canterbury. She has perfected her craft in some incredible places including Martinborough, Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough, Canberra, Western Australia, California and now, proudly, Great Western. Brigitte believes winemaking is the perfect marriage of science and creativity and is committed to crafting delicious wines that people can enjoy. She loves the craze and excitement of vintage each year and is thrilled to have joined Best’s for V19 and beyond.
Watch Justin explain his passion for working at Best's while he does "foot punch" on Best's flagship wine, the Thomson Family Shiraz.