The Summerfield Family
Summerfield is a family business run by Ian Summerfield, his son Mark and daughter-in-law Masako. Ian tends to the vines daily, and his expertise in farming and viticulture are the foundation on which our reputation is built. Mark has taken over the reins as winemaker, and continues with the passion and commitment to making Summerfield’s award winning labels. Masako manages export sales and helps out with administration, event management and backroom functions.
Pyrenees Wine Making
Summerfield wines have distinct regional characteristics, and the Summerfield family has a long history with the Pyrenees region. Ian Summerfield was raised in a family integral to the development of the local township of Moonambel – his parents were the proprietors of the Moonambel general store for 45 years. Ian’s father was a Moonambel local, and his mother from Redbank, just over the ridge. Ian worked in the general store until its sale in 1962, when Ian and his brother, Russell, went to work on the family’s property. Ian and Russell’s parents’ affiliation with the land gave Ian a healthy respect and admiration for Australian soil, which is mirrored in the Summerfield’s ongoing commitment to working with the elements to harvest vines laden with high quality fruit.
In the 1960s, with farming on a continuous downturn, the decision was made to sell a section of the Summerfield property to Walter Henning, who would go on to become one of Australia’s most influential wine makers and vignerons. Ian developed a keen interest in Henning’s activities, and in 1969 that land was planted with Taltarni’s first vines. Consequently to this day, the Summerfield vineyard shares its borders with the Taltarni estate.
1970 heralded a decade of great change for many Australian families, and for the Summerfield clan, it was a watershed year that welcomed a new era. Ian felt that Walter Henning had exposed him to an enterprise that could bring the family prosperity amidst challenging times for the farming industry. Planting grapevines seemed a viable alternative to the other crops Ian and his family had previously produced, and he proceeded to plant 10 acres of predominantly Shiraz vines, which his two sons would grow up amongst in the years to come.
The early 90’s and early 00’s would see a further 25 acres planted on the original property.
A Family Passion
In 1987, Ian’s youngest son, Mark, was visiting the winery from Adelaide on the understanding that he would be staying a short time before moving on to Sydney. But Mark found his father’s passion for the grapes and the business infectious and has remained at Moonambel ever since. Mark has learnt the art of blending and winemaking under his father’s guidance and now has taken over the role of winemaker.
With winemaking in their blood and Ian, Mark and Masako setting such a wonderful example, we all are waiting to see what Sahsah, Saieh and Taiyo will contribute to the Summerfield tradition of fine wines and hospitality in the years to come.