Assistant Winemaker Alex Phillips
Alex Phillips was born and bred in South Africa, one of the world’s most vibrant wine-producing countries. Her innate desire to make wine was gratified at South Africa’s University of Stellenbosch, where she walked away with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 2013, as well as the Prof PA van der Bijl medal (awarded to one of two best students in BSc Agric) and was crowned the Best Academic Student: Viticulture and Oenology (U.S) 2013 by the South African Society for Enology and Viticulture.
But could her academic aptitude translate to success in the practical world of winemaking? It seems so. Alex played second fiddle to celebrated winemaker Adam Mason with an internship at Mulderbosch Vineyards, Stellenbosch. Adam mentored Alex until she decided to spread her wine-wings and travel to Australia in 2014 for an extended harvest at Kirrihill in the Clare Valley.
It wasn’t all bad, this Aussie caper, so Alex spent the next year travelling and working her way round rural Victoria, and lo and behold, where does she land? The Alpine Valleys, otherwise known as home to Billy Button Wines. It was here that Alex met her future fiancé.
Staying in the Alpine Valleys was not an option at this point though – in fact, the call of the springbok was loud enough to lure Alex back to South Africa for a harvest gig at Steenberg Vineyards in Cape Town in 2015. Once done here, it was Sonoma, California – another harvest gig at Girard Winery. Budding flying winemaker? You bet.
But as the year 2016 loomed, it had a decidedly Aussie flavour, particularly that north-east corner of Victoria with those bright yellow bouncy balls of flora… and so it was, in January 2016, Alex made a return to the Alpine Valleys and in pursuit of her continued winemaking education sort out Jo Marsh. The two hit it off immediately and together form quite the dynamic duo
When she’s not doing her thing in the winery, Alex lives on a picturesque horse property in the Victorian High Country with her now fiancé Lin where they help to run the family business Bogong Horseback Adventures.