Since 2012, Chris Carpenter has worked with Michael Lane and Peter Fraser to continue the winemaking legacy that began at Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard nearly 50 years ago. Devoted to Bordeaux and Rhône varieties, the vineyard tells a unique story in McLaren Vale by giving a voice to its northern edge in Clarendon.
Chris Carpenter is a jazz-loving, trombone-playing, biological chemist and winemaker. Growing up in Chicago, Chris fell in love with the city’s jazz and restaurant culture before moving to California in the early 1990s to earn his master’s degree in Viticulture & Oenology from the University of California at Davis and forge his way into the wine industry. Today, Chris spends his time between McLaren Vale and Napa Valley, where he makes some of California’s most sought-after mountain appellation wines – Cardinale, Lokoya, La Jota and Mt. Brave. With more than 20 years of experience with Bordeaux varieties, Chris gains new perspective with each vintage at Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard, exchanging his learnings in both countries to continue evolving as a winemaker.
A long-time friend and winemaking colleague to Chris, Peter Fraser has been General Manger of Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard since 2012. With more than 20 years of experience in McLaren Vale as Head Winemaker and General Manager for Yangarra Estate Vineyard, Peter has played an instrumental role in reviving the historic property. In 2017, Peter joined Chris as winemaker to focus on the estate’s Rhône varietals – Grenache and Shiraz.
A graduate of Urrbrae Agricultural High School, Michael completed his Advanced Certificate in Horticulture before establishing his own horticulture consultancy that specialized in the management of pests and diseases. He was first introduced to Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard through the nearby Yangarra Estate Vineyard, where he has worked as Viticulturer since 2000. Today, he manages both and Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard and Yangarra Estate Vineyard and brings an extensive knowledge of sustainable, organic and biodynamic farming practices to both estates.