As the name would suggest, I am a freak for all things Riesling…
What I love most about my line of work is that for me, it’s not a job, it’s my passion. I don’t see my occupation as work, as each day I am creating and working with what I love… Riesling!
Growing up on the family vineyard in the beautiful Clare Valley (a wine region known for its superb Riesling), it was only natural that I had an appreciation for the Riesling variety from a young age. And as I grew up, so did my passion for Riesling. Once old enough to really appreciate a quality Riesling, I found a new appreciation for many European Rieslings, and kept a close eye on what a handful of German winemakers were doing. To this day, I still keep an eye on German winemaking techniques and enjoy referencing their style for inspiration so I can apply to the Rieslingfreak collection.
With a love for the sweeter white wines, my cellar is now stocked with many Kabinett and Spatlese styles from his German counterparts. I can safely credit my appreciation for aged Riesling to my parents; hence you will always find some great aged Riesling in my 30-year-old cellar.
While I love that each and every Rieslingfreak wine can be enjoyed on its own, I love the role that food plays in transforming and completely revolutionising the entire food and wine experience. On weekends, you’ll always find me in the kitchen… and a glass of Riesling is never too far away!
It all started with a glass of Pewsey Vale Riesling in Mark’s younger years, and from here, his love for Riesling has evolved and grown!
While he never entertained the idea of winemaking as a career, food and wine quickly became a big part of his life. Working in several top Adelaide restaurants in the late 70’s and early 80’s, Mark became hooked on the versatile variety of Riesling, and it’s no surprise that it soon became his go-to wine. Mark loved the hospitality lifestyle and the many different Rieslings he was able to enjoy from all over the world. He went on to work for Hilton Hotels in Adelaide and then onto the Hilton in London, before joining Hyatt Hotels.
Mark was fortunate enough to enjoy stints in London, Hong Kong, and Singapore with his family, but in 2011 they made the move to the Barossa and in early 2012, he and I met at the Barossa Farmers Market in a chance encounter. With a shared passion for Riesling, it is fair to say that the two of us Riesling-freaks hit it off instantly, and as they say, the rest is history…