Cofield Wines – We Mix Business with Pleasure then Bottle it!
To make the best wine that we can, deliver distinctive, varietally honest, quality wines and share our passion for wine with the world.
The Cofield family have been treading the vineyards of Rutherglen for generations. Frank Cofield, the Great Grandfather of the current owner, Damien Cofield, started working at St Leonards vineyard in 1909.
His children followed suit with labourious vineyard toil for many vintages at St Leonards. One of these children, Harold, worked there all his working life – over 50 years.
Winery founder Max Cofield spent his school holidays working there, chipping weeds, before getting an ‘inside job’ working at Seppelt and later at All Saints winery. In 1985, Max at 45 decided it was time to set up on his own.
He obviously made the wine industry look enticing, because his son Damien has followed Max into the industry, and has now taken over the winery, awaiting the next generation to mature.
Damien received a Wine Science degree at Charles Sturt University in 1999. He then set off to Chablis, near Paris to broaden his vineous horizons. Damien has been hands on at Cofield’s since then and has followed in his fathers footsteps in taking over the winery with Max’s retirement in 2007.
A graduate of winemaking and vineyard management from Charles Sturt University Brendan Heath has worked in the wine industry for over twenty five years. He commenced his working life with Campbell’s Wines in Rutherglen gaining valuable and extensive experience in table and fortified winemaking working for fifteen years under Colin Campbell.
After leaving Campbell’s Wines in 2006 Brendan then worked closely with the late Chris Killeen of Stanton & Killeen Wines himself a noted vintage port maker, gleaning insight into Portuguese grape varieties in both port and table wine production. Brendan took on the role of head wine maker for S&K in 2007 after Chris’s premature death. He held this position until 2014 when he joined the team at Cofield Wines as senior winemaker again showing his diversity and skill in wine making by expanding into sparkling wines which Max and Damien Cofield are renowned for. Brendan estimates he has worked with over sixty five grape varieties as well as alternate and immerging blends and wine styles.
He achieved a first for the Rutherglen Wine Region in March 2008 when he accepted the prestigious position of judging at the International Wine Challenge in London. Boasting more than 9000 entries it is regarded as the biggest and best wine blind tasting in the world. In 2011 he was promoted to a panel chair position and now travels to London and Europe twice a year judging, consulting, educating and mentoring as well as guest educator for Charles Sturt and Melbourne University wine courses, advising on vineyard management and winery design and wine business in Australia.
Brendan brings a passion of winemaking excellence to Cofield Wines as well as his expertise and interest in Rutherglen fortified wines, the richest in the world.
At the heart of things, we are wine lovers before we are wine makers – it’s why you will find such incredible diversity on offer at our Cellar Door. Our founder Max Cofield has a life long love of sparkling wines, for which we are renowned. Damien has built on Max’s legacy, continuing our production of premium sparkling wines, and adding in an array of hand-crafted red and white table wines, and vibrant fortifieds.
We have two vineyard sites in Rutherglen (Quartz Vein and Netherby) planted to ideal varieties for the Rutherglen region – Shiraz, Durif, Malbec, Muscadelle and more. Being in North East Victoria we are fortunate to be within an hour or so of five amazing wine regions, so we do occasionally venture outside of Rutherglen to source varieties better suited to those regions – think Chardonnay from Beechworth, Pinot Grigio from the King Valley, and sparkling wine varieties (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier) from the cool Alpine Valleys.
Come and see our winery in full swing during Vintage, join our winemaker Damien Cofield for a tour of our winery along with a discussion about how we make our sparkling wines. Our winemaking journey takes place every Thursday at 2pm year round, bookings are required.