Our Winemakers

Adam Marks

A qualified viticulturist and winemaker with more than 25 years’ experience, Adam has made wine throughout the world for both large and small producers, including extended vintages in France, Chile and the USA. Disillusioned with large corporate winemaking, Adam established Bress in 2001 with a desire to produce wines from fruit sourced from notable viticultural regions, using a minimal intervention approach in the winery. The Bress vineyard and winery is now formally acknowledged by the State Government as the first and currently only certified ‘Sustainable’ vineyard/winery in Victoria. This comes about as a result of Adam’s expressed concern and interest in minimising the footprint on the landscape as a primary producer and in the process utilising solar energy to provide power for winemaking activities, monitoring water use selectively and employing composting of organic resources to reduce the removal of waste from the site.  Adam is an entertaining character and his passion for wine, cider and sustainability on a global scale is evident in all that he does.

 

Rob Ellis

Rob studied Oenology (Winemaking) at the famous Waite campus at Adelaide University. He then went on to become a ‘flying winemaker’ for a number of years, doing vintages and working at great houses such as Domaine de Montille in Burgundy, Domain Serine in Oregon, Champagne Jaquesson, and Laurensford near Stellenbosh in South Africa. He was also an integral part of the winemaking team at Hewitson in the Barossa Valley for 4 years.

It was during this time abroad that he developed a real passion for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. He had learnt a number of different techniques including how the Europeans had adjusted to cold climate viticulture and he was keen to put this knowledge to use.

After a number of years abroad learning, Rob returned to the family business as the Chief Winemaker in 2011. Rob has focused on the winery’s and vineyards sustainability, incorporating organic practices into the company’s vineyards and utilising winemaking techniques such as wild yeast and whole bunch fermentation to increase the complexity of the wines and help bring out the true expression of the grapes.

 

Cameron Leith

Cameron seemed destined for a career in the wine industry having grown up on the vineyard and helping out with vintages in his early youth.  He progressed through work experience in hospitality to return to the family business in 2004 before travelling to France for a vintage in 2006 in Burgundy at Domaine Chevrot, where he enhanced his learning and was then able to return to Australia with a clear direction that being a winemaker was something that he wanted to do.

Cameron became Head Winemaker for Passing Clouds at 23 and embarked on his first vintage for the winery in that role. He graduated in 2011 from his Masters of Wine Technology and Viticulture course from Melbourne University.

Over a very short winemaking career, Cameron has certainly upheld and gone beyond expectations in his winemaking.  Achieving consistently high scores with top wine writers, Passing Clouds is a well sought after brand by many wine lovers, sommeliers and wine critics.