Welcome to the second edition of our Behind The Wine series where we introduce you to the hard working people behind the brand that get Sidewood from the vine to your wine. Last month we caught up via text with our Cellar Door Manager, Seth Piszczuk who gave us an insight of what it’s like to work at a Cellar Door.
This month we managed to catch up with our Winery Operations Manager and Cider Maker, Michael Redman for a quick five-minute chat about all things wine and cider which we hope you enjoy.
Managing the operations of our winery in Nairne, Michael has been with Sidewood for over two years after changing careers from working in the food industry. Learning from some of the best in the business Michael’s quick progression to Operations Manager in his time at Sidewood is a reflection of the passion and genuine interest in wine and cider production.
Michael resides in Lobethal with his partner and has a daughter (8) he hopes to one day teach the ropes. Enjoy the interview and please check back next week to read Michael’s blog on Cider making.
1. What is your role with Sidewood?
I am Sidewood’s Winery Operations Manager and Cider Maker. My role involves over-seeing the day to day running of the winery including everything from making Sidewood’s wine and cider to managing waste disposal procedures.
2. What does your typical day look like?
My day starts at around 8am and finishes at 5pm in Winter and 6am till 6pm in Summer due to Vintage; our peak time.
I usually begin my day by logging onto our Ezywine Program which we utilise to track and tabulate any procedure and update it with every movement of liquid at the winery from the day before. I then set the winemaking team a plan for the day ahead according to the different stage of production the wine or cider may be at.
At the moment my time has been taken up with setting up our new cidery and orchard to ensure everything is ready to hit the ground running when the build of our new canning and bottling line is finished.
3. What’s your background and how did you come to work at Sidewood?
I am a Chef by trade – random, I know!
I worked as a Chef for four years in the early 2000’s before wanting a change and moving to South Australia. It was after moving to SA I began working as a tractor operator for Sidewood’s Viticulturists that I developed a strong interest in the winemaking process which then led me into my current position.
As well as winemaking, I have a really strong interest in home brewing and kegging so with the recent addition of Cider to Sidewood’s portfolio I jumped at the opportunity to add Cider Maker to my position description!
4. Outside of wine, what are your interests?
Away from work I play hockey for sport and fitness. I love to fish and try to get out in my boat once a week chasing crabs, squid and whiting.
My other passion is gardening, I have a massive vegetable garden and spend a lot of time in the garden every week.
5. Best wine for newbie wine drinkers?
If I was to suggest a wine for a newbie to drink I would suggest a Chardonnay.
Explaining and understanding a basic wine principle like oak influence with Chardonnay is usually quite easy as it often stands out best in this varietal.
6. Favourite Sidewood Wine at the moment?
My favourite wines are whites. I love our Estate Chardonnay and our latest vintage is an absolute stand out with its smooth and buttery palette. It’s definitely the variety that doesn’t last long when it gets home.
Next time you have a bottle at home, try leaving it out of the fridge for 30 minutes or so before enjoying so it isn’t as chilled – trust me you’ll thank me!
7. What wine is open in your kitchen right now?
I like to work on a ‘zero ullage’ policy but lets say a Pinot Grigio then.
8. Funniest wine story?
I was tipping two and a half tonne’s of whole bunch Chardonnay grapes from picking bins (which include a milk crate to help circulate cool air through the bins to chill the grapes) into our big press for the first time and kept hearing a loud clunking noise as the grapes tipped into the machinery. It wasn’t until the fifth bin I realised that the milk crates were still in the bins. While jumping into the press to dig them out wasn’t fun looking back now it was definitely pretty funny!
9. What is the last photo you took at the winery on your phone? Please post and explain it
This is the last photo I took and it was only yesterday!
I was looking at the pegging I had completed at Sidewood’s new cidery to ensure all of the orchards I’d marked out were ready for posts, wires and of course, apple trees!
10. Where do you want to be in five years?
In five years from now I hope I am still with Sidewood and have a few more cider trophies on the shelf.