Dowie Doole | McLaren Vale, Australia
The Dowie Doole boys (Norm Doole and Drew Dowie) established their own McLaren Vale winery in the mid-nineties - enlisting the help of Leigh Gilligan along the way - having grown increasingly frustrated with watching their grapes being trucked off to other wineries with no control over what happened to their excellent fruit from that point onwards. It was not long before they gained international recognition for their classic McLaren Vale wines that are more elegant and refined in style than mainstream Australian wines.
Winemaker Chris Thomas began working for the Dowie Doole winery as a consultant in 2008, before joining full-time in 2011 and taking up the role of general manager two years later. When the founders decided to scale back their day-to-day involvement in 2015, it was Thomas who gathered investors to take the winery to the next stage of its development, becoming managing director and sole winemaker in the process.
The founders can still be found managing the vineyards they brought into Dowie Doole in the first place: Drew Dowie and Lulu Lunn’s Tintookie, Norm and Jane Doole’s Cali Road and Leigh and Jen Gilligan’s Rifle Range, as well as the Dooles’ vineyard at Kuitpo in the Adelaide Hills, just east of McLaren Vale. Chris Thomas still works closely with all of them to maintain the excellent reputation this winery has so richly deserved.