Down on the Farm at Crittenden Estate

The second generation of Crittendens seem just as determined as their father Garry to build on the family reputation.  With a fine crop of third generation winemakers recently arrived on the scene, the very personal style of doing business looks set to continue for quite some time.

One of the family’s favourite album photographs is of a very young Rollo running among the young vines being planted by Garry at Harrison’s Road more than 30 years ago. Garry and Rollo are seen here in an early winemaking lesson!  Rollo has been imbued with the romance of wine production ever since, though it was never an expectation that he would follow in his father’s footsteps. In fact, you get the impression that the Crittenden family’s involvement in ‘the farm’ – as they call it – has been because they loved the lifestyle, rather than out of any sense of obligation.

Garry’s wife and matriarch Margaret was always a smiling face behind the scenes at the cellar door, the café and, in later years, the lakeside villas. These days, Margaret’s fine food involvement is enjoyed on the other side of the counter, among the cafes and restaurants of McCrae, to where she and Garry have moved.

Daughter Zoe has turned her psychological studies and teaching experience to good effect in steering the marketing and publicity side of the company, including a soon to be produced pictorial brochure depicting their 30 years at Harrisons Road. Rollo, Zoe and their partners have been busy creating the next generation of the Crittenden wine line – Finn aged six, Maia three, Oscar two and Digby, born in September.

The antics of the grand children and Rollo’s 2010 award as Australia’s ‘Young Gun Winemaker of the Year’ bring a smile to his face, but the ‘legendary’ Garry Crittenden assumes a more pensive look when asked what is his greatest career satisfaction.

“It’s not awards or accolades, but a deep sense of satisfaction that my two children have been interested enough to want to continue something I began 30 years ago. We don’t have a dynasty, but we have two generations of knowledge to build upon, and a third generation to look forward to possibly being involved in it.”  With the kind permission of Tim Bracher and Peninsula Wine Country. Crittenden Estate