The S.C. Pannell label was established by Stephen and wife Fiona in 2004, but Steve's journey to winemaking really dates back to 1969, growing up on one of Australia's most iconic boutique wineries, Moss Wood in Margaret River. From there the winegrower path was inevitable and lead to Chief Red Wine Maker at BRL Hardy via vintages in Burgundy, Bordeaux, Barolo and, Priorat.
Based in McLaren Vale the role allowed Steve to form a unique bond with the Vale, it’s micro-climates, growers and, culture. Perhaps most importantly it is the Vale’s ability to produce dry-grown and environmentally sustainable Grenache, Tempranillo, Touriga and Shiraz that drives Steve’s passion and formed his winemaking philosophy: A holistic approach that starts with climate and emphasises the importance of the vineyard, as well as wines relation to the food he loves to grow, cook and eat.
Career highlights include:
- International Red Winemaker of the year at the International Wine Challenge 1999.
- Gourmet Traveller Winemaker of the year in 2015.
- Being named one of the 50 most influential contributors to the world of wine by Decanter Magazine.
- Being voted by his peers as one of the top 10 winemakers in Australia (The Age Goodfood Magazine)
- Twice winning the Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show.
- Twice winning the Max Schubert Trophy at the Adelaide Wine Show
- Winning the Bushing Trophy for best red wine of show in McLaren Vale no less than four times: 2011, 2015, 2016 and 2018. The only winemaker to have won the award four times.