Accolade Wines has named Natalie Cleghorn as Senior Winemaker and Manager for Katnook Estate as it completed the acquisition of the iconic Coonawarra brand.
Cleghorn has been making award-winning wines in the Coonawarra region for more than 10 years. She becomes the fourth senior female winemaker on the Accolade team.
Accolade Wines started as Thomas Hardy and Sons in 1853 and has grown to become one of Australia’s largest winemakers. It produces wine brands including Grant Burge, Petaluma and St Hallett.
Katnook Estate is the company’s first acquisition under the new leadership team and Carlyle group ownership.
Katnook lies in the heart of Coonawarra wine region in South Australia – Australia’s No.3 region for bottled red wine – and has a history stretching back to 1867. The winery has twice won Australia’s most prestigious trophy, the Jimmy Watson, as well as a number of international awards.
Robert Foye, CEO of Accolade Wines, said: “Katnook is renowned for producing rich and balanced red and white varietals that are sought after by the rest of the world and we are delighted to be able to help expand the potential of such an esteemed vineyard and region.
“We’re looking forward to seeing great things from the Katnook Estate winery under the guidance of such a distinguished winemaker as Natalie Cleghorn. We are happy to have Natalie on board and believe she will bring even more experience to the winery at Katnook.”
Cleghorn (above) was a finalist in the Winemaker of the Year category at the 2020 Australian Women in Wine Awards for her work at Yalumba & Hill-Smith Family Vineyards. She joins the Accolade team as the Senior Winemaker and Manager on January 4, 2021.
“I am thrilled to be joining Katnook Estate and the broader Accolade Wines team,” Cleghorn said. “I have a great passion for the wines of Coonawarra and the region as a whole. I am looking forward to being able to fully immerse myself focussing on the region, wines and winery and I am excited by the prospect of working with the experienced team to guide this historic brand into the future.”