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Rob’s first experience in the Yarra Valley was as senior Winemaker at Yarra Ridge Winery, one of the success stories of the 90’s and the benchmark Chardonnay and Pinot Noir of its time. During this time Rob managed the entire Victorian Winemaking operation for Mildara Blass (Fosters).
Rob went on to build two more contract winemaking ventures and in doing so launched two highly successful Yarra Valley brands – Sticks and Punt Road. (“Sticks” being Rob’s nickname as a premiership ruckman with Port Adelaide Football Club… don’t hold that against him!)
In 2011 Rob purchased the former Hardy’s Yarra Burn winery and launched the Rob Dolan range of wines.
Rob is a well known Yarra Valley identity (he’s hard to miss) and arguably one of the most experienced Winemakers in the region.
Like most Arts students, Mark drank a lot of wine. It wasn’t long until he developed a curiosity about how it was made.
After a barrage of phone calls and much pleading, Rob Dolan took a punt on the fresh-faced University Graduate and recruited him to work as a cellar hand in a brand new winery in the Strathbogie Ranges.
Nearly 15 years later, Mark has travelled full circle and has returned to work with Rob once again.
The intervening years have seen him take on various winemaking roles around the Yarra Valley, Bendigo and France.
In addition to winemaking and completing his qualification from Charles Sturt University, Mark has also found time to find a lovely wife, teach his young boys how to fish and run the odd marathon.
Like Rob, Mark likes to make wines that are fruit-driven, approachable, fresh and distinctly varietal.
After many years of studying Classical History and Literature at University, Tim decided to hang up his cardigan and take up a career in the wine industry.
His first vintage was in the Yarra Valley and he caught the winemaking bug. He enrolled in a winemaking degree at CSU and spent a number of years travelling Australia and overseas (Oregon and France) enjoying the carefree life of hemisphere hopping.
In 2006 Tim travelled to Coonawarra to undertake a vintage winemaking appointment but ended up staying for 7 years. He gained a comprehensive knowledge of the Terra Rossa soils working at Mildara, Wynns and Katnook. Meeting his wife, TJ, here may have had something to do with the long stay.
His career has now come full circle and he has returned to the Yarra Valley, where it all began. He has firmly planted himself in the Yarra Valley and is raising a family in Healesville. He has a young daughter, Harriet, another baby on the way and a faithful dog, Billie.
Tim aims to make the style of wine that he enjoys drinking, wine with varietal primary fruit characters, texture, complexity and balance.
Like the rest of the team, Kathy found her love of wine through an alternate channel and eventually decided to delve a little deeper.
Having spent her early career as a gymnastics coach, she took flight and travelled the world while simultaneously working in the five star hotel industry. She made her way through the full gamut of food and beverage operations, giving her the chance to fully explore her interests in food, wine and flavour pairing.
Kathy finally decided to swap her high heels for some steel capped boots, quitting her international career and heading back to university full time to completely immerse herself in what continues to be a burning passion.
So far, her winemaking career has taken her from Margaret River to the Yarra Valley, to Oregon and back again. She hopes to continue the journey in as many wine regions as she can across the globe.
In addition to wine, Kathy loves to travel and eat… which means she also needs to love keeping fit! And don’t tell her friends, because as a born and bred Sydney-sider, this should not be the case, but she is LOVING Melbourne.
After 7 years working as a Myotherapist in Melbourne’s Outer East, Peta decided to give her hands a well earned break and try something completely different.
Completing her first vintage at Rob Dolan Wines in 2014, Peta learned the ways of the lab with mentor Shaun Crinion.
Following a number of cameo appearances during the rest of the year Peta returned again for Vintage 2015 and has since taken on a more permanent role.
When not in the lab Peta continues to inflict pain on her patients one day a week and spends the rest of her time walking from suburb to suburb until she finally gets her drivers license.
After completing a Sports Management Degree from LaTrobe University in 2014, Rob’s eldest son Ben decided he would rather spend his days in a more hands on role.
With a good understanding of winemaking from helping out his Dad in the past, Ben undertook his first full time vintage in 2015 and has stuck around since.
His charismatic and energetic personality help make him the perfect fit to assist with sales and events outside of the busy vintage period – the gift of the gab certainly runs in the Dolan family!
Aside from wine Ben’s interests include spending time with his lovely partner Kristy, playing footy, synchronised swimming, ballet and he also fancies himself as a bit of a talented singer – particularly after a few wines.
After deferring his Project Management Degree at RMIT University in Melbourne in pursuit of a “gap year” our youngest team member Max joined us to complete the 2016 vintage and has been hanging around ever since.
He claims it is because he enjoys the mateship within the team and playing with all the wine dogs, but we can’t help but wonder if a love of winemaking is just in the Dolan blood!
Outside of his responsibilities at the winery, Rob’s youngest son enjoys what most young men enjoy – playing sport and hanging out with his mates.
Giving her Real Estate career the flick after eight years of hard work wasn’t easy, but Kate found her true calling when she moved from Melbourne to Coonawarra for a country change, landing a dream role in Sales & Events for a well known Winery.
A move back to Melbourne was always on the cards, but a return to property wasn’t. The timing was perfect when Rob offered Kate a role at his successful Warrandyte based Winery.
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