Chris Pfeiffer 50 Vintages

I am so grateful for the life I have been privileged to live. Chris, as a young winemaker, took me to all of the Lindeman Wines locations throughout Australia. He worked. I taught in many schools and looked after the family and the home.

Chris started his winemaking career in 1974 at Lindemans Corowa, NSW and became friends with the original families from the Rutherglen winemaking fraternity. We then moved to Sydney to Lindeman’s blending, bottling and administration hub. Chris remembers ‘THE’ computer took up a room about as big as a double garage!

From there, Chris made wine up in the Hunter Valley at Lindemans Ben Ean Winery. As he often says, ‘Ben Ean was a very well made wine. It paid my salary and everyone else’s too!’

Then we moved over to Coonawarra, SA to Rouge Homme and our elder daughter was born there. Sadly for many, the call came to return to Corowa, to pull down the original Dr Henry Lindeman winery, relocate the wine and the equipment to other Lindeman locations, as well as building a processing plant on one of the two vineyards AND make the Vintage of 1979. Even as I write this, I wonder how he did it. It is amazing what can be achieved with youth, enthusiasm and dedication on your side. Plus, while all this was going on, our winemaking daughter, Jen was born.

Upon the conclusion of that job, we moved to Lindeman’s largest winery, at Karadoc, Victoria. That location became my home while Chris travelled back and forth to the processing winery he had built in Corowa, then to Leo Burings (part of Lindemans) in the Barossa Valley, back to Karadoc and the journey began again.

You see, by this time, Chris was in charge of ALL the fortified wine for the entire company. His job was not only a huge responsibility but it demanded a lot of travel and hands on at each winery location. It was no wonder he missed out knowing about the Chicken Pox that spread through the Karadoc community…but that is another story.

And finally we come to how we arrived here.  Chris always had a dream to have his own place and do his own thing. A vacant bit of dirt might have the potential for his vineyard, an old building might be a possible winery, so it was no surprise to be told about the uninhabited and abandoned property coming up for sale in part of the Rutherglen Wine district when he was on one of his many trips to Corowa.  A pump had broken down and he needed to get it fixed quickly and the person who could do that was in Wangaratta.  Chris drove down Distillery Road and saw the Forthcoming Auction sign on the Seppelts property. He rang me and said, ‘what do you think of this idea?’

And so it came to be.  We moved here, to 167 Distillery Road Wahgunyah.

Recollections by Robyn Pfeiffer