The Billy Button Team
While Billy Button is Jo's baby, there is a team behind it, without whose support it could not have happened
Jo’s Mum - Maria
Maria has always enjoyed a glass of wine, but had not been exposed to the winemaking process before Jo started her own label. So when she volunteered to help with the 2014 vintage, it was a baptism of fire. At a moment’s notice, Jo’s mum packed her car, including her 12-month-old dog Smokey, and drove 1000km to ease the burden. She is now officially a highly skilled winemaking technician, checking pH/acidity, stirring barrels and plunging, among many other tasks.
Jo adopted her five-year-old Labrador when he was 12 months old after his previous owner moved to Piedmont, Italy to pursue his love of Nebbiolo (Cannubi is named after a Barolo vineyard). Cannubi is great company during vintage and rarely leaves her side. He thrives in his role as winery dog, but his vices include eating grapes from the vine, licking juice out of the valves, and cleaning spilt grapes from the floor. Cannubi is the life of the party, in your face, always happy to meet new people, with boundless energy, and is sometimes known to wander off on his own to create his own party.
Jo brought Jesse, a 12-year-old Border Collie Kelpie cross, into her family four years ago from Australian Working Dog Rescue, which is slightly ironic given Jesse is terrified of sheep and cows. Even puppies and kittens are too much for him. Jesse is the opposite to Cannubi - quiet, demure, well behaved and spends the majority of his life lying quietly in his bed. However, he too has a penchant for grapes, although his addiction is not as extravagant as Cannubi’s. When grape picking, he curls up at Jo’s feet and constantly gets annoyed with her for progressing along the row.
At the end of 2015 Jesse decided that the hectic winemaker life was too much for him and has since retired to Jo's parents' farm in South Australia.