When Peter retired from his Rugby League career with the Canterbury Bulldogs, we decided to head back to the country to provide our young family with the same upbringing we had ourselves in Wagga Wagga. Orange captured our hearts with its natural beauty, rich history and close proximity to friends and family in Sydney. In 1993 we purchased 45 acres just north of Orange.
In 1995 we decided to plant a vineyard and with the help of our 5 young sons, we planted over 24000 vine rootlings made up of Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. The following years we spent investing in the property as we established the dam, irrigation, trellis, fencing and vines. All on top of Peter being Manager at WIN Television and us raising 5 young boys. Challenging and rewarding times! We selected Simon Gilbert from Mudgee as our Winemaker and in 2001, six years after we planted our vines, we received our first bottle of Mortimer’s Chardonnay. We sat in our garden room as a family and tasted it together, a moment we will never forget. We have since added to our wine range, planting Pinot Noir and Merlot vines.
In 2007 we purchased the March Schoolhouse from the local council. The school was established in 1866 and closed its gates in 1976. Located at the entrance to our property, it was the perfect place to open our Cellar Door and we have been busy collecting and displaying the rich 150 year old history of the old March Schoolhouse. Peter has also dusted off some of his old Bulldog’s memorabilia for display which is always a great talking point with our footy fans. We are a family business and every weekend you’ll likely find Peter, myself and few of our sons (and grandchildren) serving, playing music and sharing our passion for the wine industry at our Cellar Door.
We are extremely proud of our story and we have come a long way since buying an empty parcel of land in 1993. The most important piece of advice Peter received very early in his viticulture career was to “make wine that you are proud to put your name on”. Well here at Mortimer’s wines we are extremely proud of our product, and we know you will love it too.