A.T. Richardson Wine Consulting
Guidance – Advice – Action
My services are available throughout Australia, New Zealand, North and South America, as well as in Europe. I focus on creating wines specifically tailored to target consumers, whether they are wine experts, everyday drinkers who “know what they like,” or influential wine reviewers. My services include viticulture support, hands-on winemaking services and creative guidance, as well as contract winemaking.
My experience ranges from hands-on winemaking to leading large-scale production teams creating wines that span the spectrum of style, volume, and price ranges. I have made wines and collaborated with winemakers in some of the world’s most acclaimed wine regions throughout Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Chile, Argentina, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, and South Africa.
Since 1995, I’ve developed boutique labels, including my eponymous A.T. Richardson Wines in Australia’s Grampians region; led large-scale luxury winemaking teams, including Etude, Stags’ Leap, and Beringer; and created commercial-scale brands such as the U.S. mega-hit Cupcake, which has sold more than 6 million cases since I helped launch the brand in 2008.
I started my wine career as a vineyard hand and cellar rat, and most recently held positions as chief winemaker of Treasury Wine Estates Americas, and vice president of international winemaking for The Wine Group LLC. I also spent six years overseeing research winemaking and creating luxury wines for Gallo of Sonoma, and I worked as a winemaker at Australia’s iconic Oakridge Estate in Victoria’s Yarra Valley.
Prior to my time in the wine industry, I spent 10 years in the Royal Australian Navy as a naval aviator.
- Conduct the full spectrum of winemaking activities, from vineyard to bottle.
- Conduct wine blending and finishing work to create the desired final wine.
- Collaborate with international or domestic vineyard and wine suppliers to source and prepare a wine for local or specific export markets.
- Balance wine inventories to maximise utilisation and minimise costs.
- Select barrels and lead barrel-management programs for desired wine style.
- Provide solutions and risk management for problem wines.
Wine Design and Creative Guidance:
- Work with marketing teams to design new wines or tweak existing wines to meet the desired style and consumer targets.
- Draft winemaking processes or specific procedures to create the targeted wine style.
- Evaluate existing winemaking processes and recommend changes where required.
- Provide input to winery design and equipment needs for new developments or winery upgrades.
- Conduct guided benchmark sensory assessment against target competitor wines.
- Manage COGS and blend composition to optimise wine cost.
- Evaluate vines and collaborate on viticultural procedures throughout the season.
- Advise on grape sourcing and vineyard management to achieve a specific wine style.
- Provide full service contract winemaking at my boutique Grampians winery. You can contract me to make your wines, or I can collaborate with you while you use my facilities.
Approach to Winemaking
I live by my three guiding principles of winemaking:
- Emphasize the wine’s origin: Wine style and its full potential is stamped in the vineyard and realised in the winery, but clever blending will open doors to the full range of style possibilities. I aim to create wines of balance and personality that reflect their origin and that are perfectly tailored to the target consumers.
- Focus on structure: Structure, not flavour, defines the underlying character of wine. For most wine people, the focus is on flavour, but my approach is to build the structure first, and then add the flesh upon this sound base. Flavour and texture are icing on the cake.
- Embrace collaboration: After many years of working with wine producers globally, I have come to understand that one of the required ingredients of great wines is a respectful and collaborative relationship among all parties involved in production. I carry this belief to all my customers.