New general manager for Sevenhill

Clare Valley’s first winery Sevenhill Cellars has welcomed new general manager Jonathan O’Neill following the retirement of Mike Christophersen.

The Jesuit-owned winery is pleased to announce the appointment of Jonathan who has more than 20 years’ experience in the wine industry, most recently as Angove Family Winemakers’ regional export manager.

Jonathan spent 11 years with the long-standing South Australian wine business, developing markets in Asia and Europe and also taking on a trading role managing vintage sales. Prior to this position, he worked for 10 years at Plantagenet Wines in Western Australia’s Great Southern region where he was responsible for the winery’s sales and marketing and helped more than double the business during that decade. Jonathan has an Associate Diploma in Wine Marketing, an Agricultural Business Degree and a Master of Business Administration, all gained at the University of Adelaide.

Sevenhill Cellars’ chair Jay Hogan said the board was delighted to secure someone of Jonathan’s calibre.

“We’re very pleased to have Jonathan join us at Sevenhill, especially considering his expertise in the area of consumer wine preferences and emerging market trends. His extensive knowledge of wine distribution will also be a significant benefit to us as we look to expand the sale of our award-winning table wines around Australia and to other targeted international markets.”

Jonathan’s connection with Sevenhill Cellars goes back to his childhood, with memories of Sevenhill’s vintage port sitting tight in his family’s cellar, which he eventually tasted one Christmas in his early 20s. He believes it is memories like this that tie many people to Sevenhill’s brand and story and have helped to build the winery’s loyal following. “So many people have a good experience to tell about Sevenhill,” he said. “It is an icon of the Clare Valley with its old vineyards and amazing history. I think it has so much going for it, including a great vineyard base to produce exceptional wines.” He looks forward to showcasing Sevenhill’s prized, old vineyards, some of which are more than a century old and making the most of the historic winery, in particular the underground stone cellar for premium wine storage. Located beneath cellar door, it was constructed by the Jesuits in the 1850s and provides stable temperatures for steady ageing and to help preserve fresh, vibrant flavours.