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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.

Darren Gimber - General Manager 

Hospitality is in Dara’s blood. After starting as a silver service waiter at just 14, Dara went on to be a chef in the British Army. He’s served troops in field kitchens, senior government officials and even royalty (in a castle, no less). Dara then ran his own boutique hotel in the Scottish Highlands for almost a decade until finally, the call of the Aussie outdoors was too hard to resist. We’re stoked to have his experience and genuine, friendly nature at Contentious. 

Inkook Kim – Head Chef

Inkook, or Kooky as we call him, is our always-smiling Head Chef. He is passionate about using fresh ingredients and is motivated by preparing dishes for people he loves. Recently a new dad, making food for his son is now his favourite thing to do in the kitchen, surpassing even pizza. After a hard day at work, nothing is more relaxing and refreshing to Kooky than spending time with his family.

Hyeonggu Kang - Chef de Partie

Driven by creating joyful, positive memories for our guests via their tastebuds is our Chef de Partie, Hyeonggu aka Damon. When we asked him his favourite dish to prepare, he replied with woodfired pizza - and it's his favourite thing to eat too! Damon admires the time, skill and effort that goes into the art and he's nailed it all, if you ask us. 

Victoria Cowlishaw – Business & Events Manager

Bringing years of experience in sales and marketing and her bubbly, outgoing and friendly nature to our winery is Victoria. She gets our wines out there as well as organises private and corporate functions at the vineyard. When not building great rapport with our clients and partners, you’ll find Victoria riding her horses, walking her dogs and entertaining the loved ones in her life - all with a glass of Chardonnay in hand.

Chloe Wheelwright - Customer Experience Manager

What's to say, at a young age, Chloe has achieved so much in so short a time, she's our rising star, a fantastic attitude, a hard worker and always willing to learn and to teach others, keep up the good work Chloe!

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Darren Gimber - General Manager 

Hospitality is in Dara’s blood. After starting as a silver service waiter at just 14, Dara went on to be a chef in the British Army. He’s served troops in field kitchens, senior government officials and even royalty (in a castle, no less). Dara then ran his own boutique hotel in the Scottish Highlands for almost a decade until finally, the call of the Aussie outdoors was too hard to resist. We’re stoked to have his experience and genuine, friendly nature at Contentious.