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ABOUT US

We’ll give you plenty to talk about.

Contentious Character is a cool-climate winery, set in the hills of Wamboin, 30km east of Canberra. Whether you come to ours, or our wines come to you, we’ll give you plenty to talk about.

We’re a single vineyard winery. We grow our own grapes, sell our own wines, and make our own good times. You’re welcome to join us at the weekends when we throw open our cellar door, fire up the pizza oven and serve fresh local produce, paired with our wines.

Every story starts somewhere. Ours harks back to the Lambert Vineyards. After 24 years, the original winemakers moved on, we moved in, and set about making the place our own.

We overhauled the kitchen, tended the grounds and gave the restaurant a facelift. We didn’t touch the old vineyards though, we may be contentious, but we’re not crazy. Instead, we’re continuing in the tradition of cool-climate wine-making, but throwing in a few twists.

HARD GROUND. SOFT HEART.
CONTENTIOUS CHARACTER.

Here in the hills of Canberra, our weather’s all about contrast. The swings from hot sunny days to cold nights are perfect for cool-climate winemaking. With conditions akin to Continental Europe, our wines take on an elegant, nuanced character. It’s a lovable contrast to what many expect from an Aussie wine.

It’s not just the weather that’s in our favour; we’re lucky with the soil in our vineyard too, with a pH ranging from neutral to mildly acidic, and drainage helped by shallow clay loams.

At one of the region’s highest elevations, our undulating hills give every vine the chance to breathe fresh air, and bask in the sun. Meanwhile, our open cellar door and kitchen, mean locals and visitors alike are free to enjoy the fruits of our hard work, and trade the odd insult.

HARD GROUND. SOFT HEART.
CONTENTIOUS CHARACTER.

Here in the hills of Canberra, our weather’s all about contrast. The swings from hot sunny days to cold nights are perfect for cool-climate winemaking. With conditions akin to Continental Europe, our wines take on an elegant, nuanced character. It’s a lovable contrast to what many expect from an Aussie wine.

It’s not just the weather that’s in our favour; we’re lucky with the soil in our vineyard too, with a pH ranging from neutral to mildly acidic, and drainage helped by shallow clay loams.

At one of the region’s highest elevations, our undulating hills give every vine the chance to breathe fresh air, and bask in the sun. Meanwhile, our open cellar door and kitchen, mean locals and visitors alike are free to enjoy the fruits of our hard work, and trade the odd insult.

BIG SHOES TO FILL

Contentious Character builds on the Lambert estate’s reputation for award-winning boutique wines. The first plantings were made in 1990, and the 20 acre vineyard became known for producing complex wines, with distinctive ‘old-world’ character.

We’ve got a selection of these excellent wines available as limited edition Founder’s Museum and Founder’s Reserve wines. Great value for their vintage, they’ve already developed a mature character and have mellowed to perfection.

2017 will be the first Contentious Character vintage, adopting a slightly more contemporary, New World style, offering the perfect counterpoint to the excellent Lambert wines. Join the Collective, and you can be among the first to try them, and experience the best of both worlds.

BIG SHOES TO FILL

Contentious Character builds on the Lambert estate’s reputation for award-winning boutique wines. The first plantings were made in 1990, and the 20 acre vineyard became known for producing complex wines, with distinctive ‘old-world’ character.

We’ve got a selection of these excellent wines available as limited edition Founder’s Museum and Founder’s Reserve wines. Great value for their vintage, they’ve already developed a mature character and have mellowed to perfection.

2017 will be the first Contentious Character vintage, adopting a slightly more contemporary, New World style, offering the perfect counterpoint to the excellent Lambert wines. Join the Collective, and you can be among the first to try them, and experience the best of both worlds.

MEET SOME CONTENTIOUS CHARACTERS

Jeremy Wilson - Chief Winemaker, Operations

From small seeds, mighty vineyards grow. Jeremy’s passion for wine blossomed in his youth, when he took a part-time job at a bottle shop and never looked back. Having refined his leadership skills in retail, operations, sales and management, he’s chasing his dream and applying the attention to-detail he’s become admired for to his passion – wine-making

.

Ben Jarrett – Sales and Viticulture

Living on a farm, Ben grew champion chooks as a child, and developed a keen interest in growing fresh produce. After a detour to the big smoke, where he developed strong leadership and mentoring skills, Ben’s come back to nature. With his people skills he’s a pro at rallying the troops around a common goal, as a chook whisperer, he rallies the winery livestock back into the hen-house at sundown.

Ross Appleton – Operations, Finance, Viticulture

With a travel management career that saw him jet-setting around the world, Ross decided it’s time to stay put a while, and put his customer experience skills to work in a place he’s proud to call home. Detail-focused, but never afraid to get his hands dirty, you’ll find him dashing from vineyard, to office, to kitchen, to warehouse, often all in the same day.

Tony Mansfield – Brand, Marketing, Sales

No stranger to managing change and opposing views, the diplomatic skills Tony honed as manager of leading global communications agencies are put to great use at Contentious Character. With a head for business, a nose for wine and a passion for yoga, all find their balance in the tranquil cool climate hills of our vineyard, where he’s embracing the chance to step into the Lambert’s shoes and join a community of likeminded producers.

Ash Horner – Consultant Winemaker

Growing up in New South Wales’ Hunter Valley, it’s no surprise that a love of wine is in Ash’s blood. And while his heart will always be in the Hunter, where he makes his own wines (the excellent Horner Wines) we’re lucky enough to have him shares his expertise with us. Turns out the terroir and cool-climate of the Canberra Region was an allure too hard to resist.

Brendan Hill – Business Manager

Brendan, like the other Contentious Characters, has a diverse (some might say chequered!) background. One thing about Brendan, he’s always been and always will be a salesman – your best man, he won’t let you down, as honest as the day he was born, born and raised right here in Canberra, the home of debate.

He’s been out of town a while, honing his business development and sales management skills even further, driving successful partnerships at a national level for many household names. 

An avid promoter of Contentious Character and a regular customer,he has made the leap to selling what he loves to drink.  Sharing the Contentious ideals with new trade partners, helping them grow their sales volume and generating ideas to increase business.

Tom Stoneham – Culinary Director

We’re lucky enough to have one of Canberra’s top Italian trained chefs. With a diverse background, which includes taking the lead at Jamie’s Italian, he’s full of ideas, and knows how to add an Aussie twist to classic Italian dishes. Just like us, he’s a big fan of taking an interest in food from farm to plate, and loves pairing our food to our wines, to bring out the best in both.

Mark Jewel – Service Delivery Manager 

Mark works with our young team to train and motivate them to grow their confidence, skills and experience. He moves quickly around the floor, without stress, always smiling and professional. You can ask Mark anything and he will do his best to make it happen. He learnt his craft as a young Hotel trainee with the Hyatt, and other medium to large food and beverage outfits before joining Jamie’s Italian and meeting Tom our Chef. It wasn’t long before he met the Contentious Characters and decided to join the team. He brings some 25 year’s experience to the young Contentious Character team, along with his hard work ethos and ethics.

MEET SOME CONTENTIOUS CHARACTERS

Jeremy Wilson - Chief Winemaker, Operations

From small seeds, mighty vineyards grow. Jeremy’s passion for wine blossomed in his youth, when he took a part-time job at a bottle shop and never looked back. Having refined his leadership skills in retail, operations, sales and management, he’s chasing his dream and applying the attention to-detail he’s become admired for to his passion – wine-making.

Ben Jarrett – Sales and Viticulture

Living on a farm, Ben grew champion chooks as a child, and developed a keen interest in growing fresh produce. After a detour to the big smoke, where he developed strong leadership and mentoring skills, Ben’s come back to nature. With his people skills he’s a pro at rallying the troops around a common goal, as a chook whisperer, he rallies the winery livestock back into the hen-house at sundown.

Ross Appleton – Operations, Finance, Viticulture

With a travel management career that saw him jet-setting around the world, Ross decided it’s time to stay put a while, and put his customer experience skills to work in a place he’s proud to call home. Detail-focused, but never afraid to get his hands dirty, you’ll find him dashing from vineyard, to office, to kitchen, to warehouse, often all in the same day.

Tony Mansfield – Brand, Marketing, Sales

No stranger to managing change and opposing views, the diplomatic skills Tony honed as manager of leading global communications agencies are put to great use at Contentious Character. With a head for business, a nose for wine and a passion for yoga, all find their balance in the tranquil cool climate hills of our vineyard, where he’s embracing the chance to step into the Lambert’s shoes and join a community of likeminded producers.

Ash Horner – Consultant Winemaker

Growing up in New South Wales’ Hunter Valley, it’s no surprise that a love of wine is in Ash’s blood. And while his heart will always be in the Hunter, where he makes his own wines (the excellent Horner Wines) we’re lucky enough to have him shares his expertise with us. Turns out the terroir and cool-climate of the Canberra Region was an allure too hard to resist.

Brendan Hill – Business Manager

Brendan, like the other Contentious Characters, has a diverse (some might say chequered!) background. One thing about Brendan, he’s always been and always will be a salesman – your best man, he won’t let you down, as honest as the day he was born, born and raised right here in Canberra, the home of debate.

He’s been out of town a while, honing his business development and sales management skills even further, driving successful partnerships at a national level for many household names.  He has been an avid promoter of Contentious Character and a regular customer since the beginning, and has now made the leap to selling what he loves to drink.  Sharing the Contentious ideals with new trade partners and helping them grow their sales volume and generating great ideas to increase business.

Being a customer and listening to all kinds of customers, means he can bring a fair and meaningful stocking and shelf strategy to the table, and create strong and enduring relationships.  He has a solid understanding of the Contentious Character’s values and what the brand stands for. He’ll work with you for the best long term outcomes. Meet Brendan, another contentious character.

Tom Stoneham – Culinary Director

We’re lucky enough to have one of Canberra’s top Italian trained chefs. With a diverse background, which includes taking the lead at Jamie’s Italian, he’s full of ideas, and knows how to add an Aussie twist to classic Italian dishes. Just like us, he’s a big fan of taking an interest in food from farm to plate, and loves pairing our food to our wines, to bring out the best in both.

Mark Jewel – Service Delivery Manager
Mark works with our young team to train and motivate them to grow their confidence, skills and experience. He moves quickly around the floor, without stress, always smiling and professional. You can ask Mark anything and he will do his best to make it happen. He learnt his craft as a young Hotel trainee with the Hyatt, and other medium to large food and beverage outfits before joining Jamie’s Italian and meeting Tom our Chef. It wasn’t long before he met the Contentious Characters and decided to join the team. He brings some 25 year’s experience to the young Contentious Character team, along with his hard work ethos and ethics.