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Mike Edwards

I was born in Perth Western Australia in 1968 and completed all my schooling in Perth.  I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do when I left school and so followed a few of my mates to Curtin University and enrolled in a Bachelor of Business. Even at this early stage I knew it was probably only going to be a means to an end, and was spending more time down south in Margaret River surfing than at Uni.  I finally completed an Economics and Finance Degree in 1989 and after short stint with a Merchant Bank, spent 12 months travelling the world - mainly the USA and Europe. 

I returned to Perth and completed a Science degree majoring in Geology in 1993.  I then worked as an Exploration and Mine Geologist all over Australia until 1998. The life of a fly in fly out Geologist is fantastic when you’re young and single, but I found myself spending every bit of spare time I had when I was back down on the property in Margaret River, helping Dad and Christo out in the vineyard. The lifestyle was just too alluring.  During this time, Edwards Vineyard was expanding and we had started selling our fruit, so the logical next step was to start making wine.

After completing my Geology degree, I vowed that I would never do any more study but in December 1998 I accepted a position at Devils Lair Wines in Margaret River and in June 1999 was accepted on a full Scholarship into the highly competitive Adelaide University Graduate Diploma course in Oenology (ex Roseworthy). Bianca and I packed up and moved to South Australia for the year and completely immersed ourselves in the world of wine during this period, with Bianca supporting us financially by working with Angoves Wines as a Wine Rep. This really opened up my eyes to the world of wine and I made some wonderful friends that I still have today. 

After completing this in June 2000 I worked for 6 months at Franciscan Estate, Napa Valley, USA. I then returned to Australia in November 2000 to take up a position as Assistant Winemaker at Voyager Estate Margaret River, a position I held until December 2004, before becoming the full-time Winemaker at Edwards.

I am extremely privileged to be able to live and work in this part of the world.  It certainly isn’t all about wine!  Being the parents of 3 young children, Bianca and I spend our down time fishing, surfing and exploring the magnificent coastline with them. We are also very active in our children's sport, coaching football, basketball, netball and athletics between us.

In November 2003 we lost Dad after an 18 month battle with Leukaemia. The Leukaemia Foundation played a huge part in educating us about the disease and supporting us during his illness. We actively support the foundation with our annual Australia Day Leukaemia Foundation Family Fun day at the vineyard.

 

Christo Edwards

I was born in 1969 and grew up in Swanbourne, Perth. It was a lot of fun spending all our time playing football for the Swanny Tigers in winter, then all summer at the beach doing Surf Club. It was then that my love for surfing began. 

After finishing school in 1987 at Scotch College, I spent a year traveling Australia, working from the ski fields in Victoria to the mines in Kalgoorlie. I decided that I needed to get some sort of qualification behind me, so driven by my love of the outdoors, I completed Horticulture at Bentley TAFE.

During these years of study, I was also playing football at Claremont and the University Football Club, and although I really enjoyed my footy, I was always dislocating my shoulders. The constant operations and rehab were doing my head in.

So, always wanting to live in ‘Margs’ and enjoy the surfing lifestyle, my (future) wife ‘Wal’ and I moved down in 1993. I didn’t know anyone in the area really, but it didn’t take long to meet crew working with a vineyard contractor and spending many a night at Settler’s Tavern.

The early days were a lot of fun; Dad had bought a farm on Caves Road with thoughts to just run a few cows and enjoy a quiet life, and would fly down on certain days and getting his agriculture fix whenever possible. Things changed as my interest in viticulture grew, and we decided to plant our first block of semillon later that same year. Our first vintage was a cracker, we gathered friends and family, and on a glorious Saturday morning, it all started.

I couldn’t quite believe my eyes when we finished, as we had hand picked 15 tonnes of beautiful clean fruit. It was loaded up and sent to Cape Mentelle, and the positive feedback from the winemakers the next day was a huge relief. Even more so of a relief was the fact that as we all celebrated that evening, a massive thunderstorm came through and dumped 3 inches of rain on us overnight – which would have destroyed the fruit if it hadn’t have been picked. We were contract growers for the first six years, selling fruit to Cape Mentelle and Devil’s Lair. In 1999 we produced our first wines; a Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, and Shiraz. From there things just grew to an eventual 60 acres of vineyard, and with Michael studying oenology, the Edwards wine brand was created.

Nearly 20 years on and my wife and I now have three kids, with most of our afternoons and weekends spent surfing local breaks around the Gracetown and Ellensbrook area. During this time there has also been a huge change in Margaret River, with wineries, restaurants and breweries popping up everywhere. Here at Edwards though, we have quietly gone about our business and established beautiful wines, and together with my brother Mike, we have grown the brand from strength to strength, supplying markets throughout the country and overseas.

 

 

 

 

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