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Welcome Back Simon Fennell

Simon Fennell Best's Winemaker 2022

Get to know our newly appointed Winemaker, Simon Fennell. A familiar name to some of you, Simon was previously our Assistant Winemaker from 2012-2016 and has re-joined us under the leadership of Managing Director, Ben Thomson. We’re thrilled to have him back in the family fold again.

Simon has significant knowledge of the Grampians region, having previously worked as Winemaker at Montara Wines from 2016-2022. His experience of our historic Great Western vineyards and terroir, as well as the Thomson family’s rich winemaking heritage is a valuable dual force.

In 156 years of winemaking history, this is only the seventh time a winemaker has been appointed at Best’s. Simon will work closely with the Thomson family, Assistant Winemaker Jacob Parton, and the rest of the winery team.

Ben Thomson says “We could not be more thrilled to have Simon re-join the team. His knowledge of our vineyards and winemaking style will be a huge asset to the business.”

Simon added, on his return to Best’s, “I’m thrilled to be rejoining the team here at Best’s as Winemaker. The magic of Best’s speaks for itself: great vineyards, an amazing pedigree with the wines but above all, some great people. I’m really looking forward to working with the Thomson Family again and being here in Great Western. A real privilege.”

Winemaking was a natural career choice for Simon who grew up in the Coonawarra wine region. With a degree in horticulture and winemaking, he also worked as a craft beer brewer for four years before returning to his first love – wine. Simon has a passion for playing golf, playing music, and of course enjoying great wine.

Simon will work alongside our Assistant Winemaker Jacob Parton, who has so capably worked with the Thomson family throughout the 2022 vintage. One of the industry young guns, Jacob hails from the NSW cool-climate region of Orange, where he began working in vineyards from the age of 14. With so much talent to add to the depth of family experience, we’re excited about what the future will hold with this dynamic duo at the helm.

Would you like to learn more about other members of our team? Learn more here.