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Steph Toole: Bought a winery for “something to do”

Episode 13

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They could make a movie out of what Stephanie Tooles has done with her life.

Steph is one of Australia’s, if not the world’s, best wine makers. They say she is a “riesling whisperer”.

Growing up as 1 of 7 kids in a small country town in NZ her childhood was all about food, sport and being transported to far away lands during the recount of the classics through her father’s readings.

In this episode you will hear all about how Steph travels the globe often tracing the steps of her father’s tales. From landing in LA in the late 70’s and sneaking into Hugh Hefner’s playboy mansion to retracing the steps of “Mice and Men”. Steph’s pursuit of soaking in all the world has to offer finds her spending time in the caves of Matala, Crete where Joni Mitchell penned her classics to Shah Jahan’s creation, for the love of his life, the Taj Mahal.

Steph discovers her love of wine in London where she has her first taste of Australian wine.

In 1992, Steph arrives in the beautiful undulating lands of the Clare Valley where she buys Mount Horrocks winery because “that will give me something to do” whilst 4 months pregnant.

Steph brings to life her vision with a passion for life and a dedication to her craft. Amongst the many amazing things Steph has done in her life sit some unique moments. Having her wine served at Queen Elizabeth’s 80th birthday, being named as one of the top 5 wine making power couples in the world and was part of an initiative that changed the way wine was bottled, just to name a few.

Steph’s doing is at times romantic and fantastical and at others grounded in self belief, an attention to detail and good old fashioned hard work.

Drink this one in…like a great wine, it will leave you wanting for more.

If you want to buy some of the best wines available, visit the Mount Horrocks winery website – www.mounthorrocks.com

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1 comment
  • A great interview. We knew Steph in the good old Timaru days and had a lot of fun together. We wish her well and hope to catch up again sometime soon.

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