John Vickery – 90th Birthday EDM (October 31st 2022)

Join us in celebrating John Vickery’s 90th birthday, October 31st 2022.  

Since his first vintage in 1951, and over the 70 that have followed, John Vickery has dedicated his life  to the pursuit of vinous perfection.  

Along the way, he has helped change a country’s taste in white wine and created the template for  what premium Australian Riesling must be. 

Twenty-year-old John did his first vintage at Emu Wines, where every morning, at 6am he drove the  40km from home to Morphett Vale on his motorbike. But it was Leo Buring’s Chateau Leonay, in  Barossa, when his winemaking mastery first emerged.

Working in an industry full of legends, like Max Schubert, Ray Beckwith and Maurice O’Shea, John’s  focus was on defining the regionality of Eden Valley and Watervale, armed with only basic wine  equipment, intuition and a lot of hard work.  

John’s hallmark approaches were cool fermentation and careful handling. As equipment improved,  John was able to develop and refine a style that resonated with drinkers across Australia. It was no  coincidence, that during his life Riesling came to dominate shelves and tables across the country.  

Riesling aside, John considers the introduction of screw caps on the ‘98 Watervale and Barossa  Rieslings his greatest contribution to the Australian wine industry. This change, effected in  collaboration with a passionate winemaking community, is arguably the most important step in 

guaranteeing the quality of Australian Riesling. The achievements of today’s winemakers stand on  the shoulders of these humble giants. 

Over the course of his career John has attained more than fifty trophies, four hundred gold medals  and in 2007 he was awarded the Medal of Order of Australia

While he is widely recognised for his pioneering work with Australian Rieslings, in 1981 his St George  Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from Rouge Homme won the Jimmy Watson trophy for the best one year-old dry red in Australia.  

"He’s in the same league as Max Schubert and other great winemakers, most of whom are known for  their reds." - Jeffrey Grosset 

As a reflection of the esteem in which he is held, John was judged by his peers as Australia’s  Greatest Living Winemaker in a survey conducted in 2003.

The Age, 2003 

Since 2014, Vickery Wines has been the home for John’s wealth of experience. His mentorship of  Phil Lehmann, and today, Keeda Zilm, and the transfer of knowledge and wisdom to the new  generation ensures not only his wines, but his legacy last long into the future, to the benefit of all  Riesling lovers. 

“The chance to work alongside John Vickery in creating a Riesling focused brand, one that draws  from such an incredible wealth of knowledge, is a truly wonderful opportunity for any winemaker.” – Keeda Zilm 

Happy Birthday John, we’re raising a glass of Riesling in your honour!

“Vickery helped change the Australian wine industry – and ultimately the world wine industry – for good and forever.” –John Rozental, December 2019.