Our Team

Who We Are

Established in 1970, Montara is captivating with its panorama of plains, mountains, vines, and old-world charm of the Ararat gold rush days. Situated 200 kilometres west of Melbourne in the Grampians region, it is a feast for the eyes and the spirit.

Simon Fennell, Winemaker

Simon joined the Montara team after almost 20 years in the wine and brewing industries.

Being born and bred in the Penola/Coonawarra region, wine was the inevitable vocation of choice. After completing studies in Horticulture, he cut his teeth in the vineyards and cellars of Coonawarra.

After four years with the Southcorp Wine Company, Simon went on to manage and establish a 100 acre vineyard in Wrattonbully for Glenhurst Wines. Following this position, he studied further in the area of brewing science before spending four years brewing and consulting in the emerging craft beer scene. The wine bug bit once more in 2009, and Simon returned to Coonawarra to take up a laboratory role with Penley Estate, working for one of Coonawarra’s finest producers.

Simon became a Victorian in 2012, crossing the border to take on an Assistant Winemaker role at the iconic Best’s Wines, Great Western. He worked alongside the Thomson family and Senior Winemaker Justin Purser in creating multiple trophy and award winning wines from the Grampians region.

In May 2016, Simon was appointed Winemaker at Montara. “I’ve always liked the Montara site,” he said. “With mature vineyards over 40 years of age, a wonderful aspect, and an amazing lineage of winemaking excellence in the Grampians region, I am excited about contributing to the ongoing evolution and development of the Montara Wines brand.”

In his spare time, Simon enjoys playing the piano in local soul/funk band Orange Whip and barracking for the mighty Geelong Cats.

Favourite Montara Wine: 2019 Home Block Single Vineyard Pinot Noir