Jason Barrette has a long-held and palpable passion for wine. Whilst his career began with 13 years in the Australian Army, it was a tour visiting the famous battlefields of Europe that propelled Jason’s foray into wine.
Visiting the wine regions of France and Italy, Jason was enamoured, immersing himself in the European wine culture. This was all he needed to make the decision to retire from the military and pursue his dream to become a winemaker. Jason returned to Australia to study winemaking at Adelaide University and completed a Bachelor of Agriculture (Oenology) degree in 2005.
Upon completing his studies Jason joined the Penfolds winemaking team at Magill Estate, working closely with Chief Winemaker Peter Gago to craft many of Penfolds premium wines including Bin707 and Grange for over twelve years as Penfolds Magill Estate Winemaker.
Outside of the Australian vintage, Jason increased his winemaking knowledge by travelling to the Northern Hemisphere, completing dual harvests as a “Flying Winemaker” for over a decade, consulting in Portugal, France, USA and Canada, Jason has made all forms of wine style, from, Red, White, Sparkling and Rosé through to Fortified and Ice-wine.
Over the years, Jason has been able to bring back to Australia many different skills and winemaking techniques and knowledge of grape varieties and wine styles from some of the best winemaking regions and wine houses in the world.
Having worked with premium Barossa fruit for over a decade, it was hardly surprising that his wine voyage has ended being based in the Barossa Valley in one of his favorite sub regions Marananga. Jason is excited to work closely with the Schubert Estate and Hare’s Chase viticultural team, learning the idiosyncrasies and intricacies of the vines and their microclimate to unlock the real potential of the estate vineyard. To be able to maximize expression of a grape variety and the terroir form the framework for the oenological decisions that Jason makes.
Jason’s hands-on approach is a testament to the wines that he creates. He is more at home at the bottom of a fermenter (bogging out), than behind a desk. His attention to detail is reflected in the quality of the wines that he produces.
For Jason, winemaking doesn’t simply finish when the wine is tucked away in barrel for maturation. He believes, and has seen “many a wine where immense time and effort in the vineyard and during vintage come to a disappointing conclusion when it comes time to blend and bottle, though oxidation, bacterial spoilage”. Jason believes that barrel maturation times should not be set in stone for particular wines. “Each vintage is different and capturing fruit intensity, varietal expression and finesse in wines is critical”.
Jason is looking forward to the oenological journey with the Schubert Estate team.