OUR TEAM, OUR PEOPLE,
Over the years our family business has grown from purely a family run operation to an extended team that helps work
towards The Crittenden Family’s vision for success. We’re proud to employ locals, provide flexibility and create a great
team culture within the business.
WINEMAKER AND GENERAL MANAGER
With a childhood spent helping with vintages and growing up with a vineyard as your backyard, perhaps it’s not surprising that Rollo became a winemaker. After completing his studies at Charles Sturt University, Rollo headed to the vineyards of Oregon, California and Italy. It was here, experiencing vintage internationally, where he honed the skills acquired from watching Garry during his younger years. Earning a well-respected reputation in his own right, Rollo won the 2010 Australian “Young Gun” Winemaker of the year, and has received much acclaim from the wine industry for his Cri di Coeur Savagnin, described by Halliday Wine Companion reviewer Jane Faulkner as, "One of the most remarkable wines crafted in Australia."
Having grown up surrounded by vineyards and wine it was inevitable that Zoe would eventually come back to the family business. Having spent her twenties in education working as a secondary teacher, the pull of her heritage became too much and she eventually left teaching to join the business in a marketing capacity. Many years later she is now firmly entrenched in the management of Crittenden Estate alongside her brother Rollo, and focuses her attentions on the cellar door, events, and our Wine Alliance Club and general marketing elements of the business.
Well a lot has changed since Garry first planted those five acres of vines in 1982…
At the time, he doubled the number of vines planted on the Mornington Peninsula. Today, the region now has over 2000 acres under vine. Things have changed somewhat. But Garry has always been a pioneer and has built a reputation in the industry of being ahead of his time. He is well known in the wine industry for being one of the first in Australia to make Italian style wines and has inspired many other wine makers across Victoria, such as the Pizzini family.
In 2012, Garry was inducted as a Melbourne Food and Wine Festival Legend. This was recognising his pioneering work introducing new Italian grape varietals to Victoria, for his commitment to the development of the Mornington Peninsula wine region and inspiring many Australian winemakers.
Garry at age 75, still comes to work every day, very much still involved in the business. Whilst officially ‘retired’ he still takes about two tonnes of estate pinot fruit each vintage to make a wine his way and without intervention. In 2017 this wine was called The Big Chair, in 2018…well watch this space.
WINERY MANAGER AND ASSISTANT WINEMAKER
Matt joined Crittenden Estate in 2008 and has been an instrumental part of our wine making team ever since. During that time, he has worked in France with some wonderful, devoted people and wine producers. These include Les Clos Perdus (Languedoc), Domaine Chevrot (Burgundy)
and Le Soula (Languedoc-Roussillon).
At Crittenden Matt manages the day to day running of the winery. He also has his own wine brand, Mattara wines, a side project created with his wife Tara.
Matt’s favourite Crittenden wines are The Zumma and Cri de Coeur Savagnins.
WINE CENTRE MANAGER
Vanessa moved to the Mornington Peninsula about 8 years ago and in that time, has worked in some of the region’s most acclaimed restaurants and wineries with a strong wine focus. As our Wine Centre Manager, she is often the one who will greet you at the door with a warm welcome and ensures your wine tasting experience is a memorable one.
“When guests visit, it gives me so much pleasure finding a wine or two that they fall in love with and have that ‘lightbulb’ moment experience.”
STRATEGIC MARKETING AND PARTNERSHIPS
Renee joined the Crittenden team with a strong background in tourism, having previously worked in marketing, communications and destination development roles for organisations such as Destination Melbourne, Tourism Alliance Victoria and Phillip Island Nature Park. The Mornington Peninsula has always been home but this is Renee’s first role that hasn’t required a commute to Melbourne, something she’s pretty happy about. Renee looks after our social media, strategic partnerships, communications and works with Zoe on a range of our marketing activities. Since joining the team, Renee has continued her love of Italian wines with the Pinocchio Rosato and Sangiovese amongst her favourites.
WHOLESALE ACCOUNT MANAGER
Mick first met Garry at a hotel he was working at in London back in 2000. Little did he know then, he would end up working for the Crittenden Family. Before joining the team, Mick worked at The Westin Melbourne Hotel for around 4 years with a stint in Dublin at The Four Seasons in between. Having worked in guest relations, it was a natural progression for Mick to be in a role that looks after Crittenden’s key wholesale accounts. Mick’s ‘standard day’ can range from tasting with customers and showing new vintages. In-store tastings for retail accounts. Emergency deliveries! And of course, always looking for new relationship to forge.
You could say Mick is pretty familiar with our wines, but his true love is the Cri de Coeur Pinot Noir – “I love its complexity; it has so much going on. Whole bunch characteristics are there but its balanced beautifully with everything else.”
City & Northern Suburbs
0448 856 071
WHOLESALE ACCOUNT MANAGER
Melissa actually began her career working as a shoemaker in Fitzroy and London in her early twenties, this then lead to various roles across the footwear industry in Marketing, Retail and Operations. This followed with 15 years in recruitment! Diverse! But a love of wines brought her to Crittenden Estate where she worked in our cellar door for two years, giving her an excellent understanding of our wines and business.
She is now one of our wholesale account managers looking after some of our key wholesale accounts. We asked Melissa what her favourite wine was, “I don’t have a favourite wine – I love variety!”
City, Southern Suburbs and Mornington Peninsula
0439 106 667
Dee has spent the last 8 years, sailing the globe whilst working aboard luxury sailing yachts with her husband. Not a bad way to live! But with an urge to be back on dry land, Dee has returned to the Mornington Peninsula and joined the Crittenden team. Having grown up on the Peninsula before establishing a career in Human Resources & General Management – Hospitality, she has long known of the legendary winemaker Garry Crittenden and his family.
Dee looks after all things office and finance within the business, together with new systems implementation and technology. 4.30pm on a Friday, you’ll find Dee with a glass of Crittenden Estate Peninsula Rosé in hand, although when the mercury drops, she loves nothing better than a Cri de Coeur Pinot!
WINE ALLIANCE COORDINATOR
Kerry joined the Crittenden team with a diverse range of roles under her belt including Student Services at Monash University, Planning with the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council and working for a London Law firm for 7 years. It was after her London stint that she decided to return to her first passion of travel, and worked for an events company that had the joy of sending people all over the world to watch sporting events. Not bad hey! After having her two gorgeous sons, she joined the Crittenden Team and does not only the wholesaler orders and stock control, but also looks after our valued Wine Alliance Members.
In her time at Crittenden, she’s discovered her favourite Crittenden wine is the Peninsula Rose. IF you’re looking for wine tips from Kerry, she doesn’t have any to offer, other than to drink it nice and chilled! The wine - not the person. :-)
Wholesale Sales and Accounts
Sarah grew up in Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. Having attended seven schools by the age of 12, moving to Australia with her young family in 2001 was a challenge she was well qualified to undertake. With a background in the magazine publishing industry and client services before joining Crittenden, she enjoys working with customers in her position in Wholesale Sales and Accounts.
Having recently moved to the Mornington Peninsula, Sarah is enjoying establishing a coastal garden as well as discovering the delights and secret corners of this spectacular wine producing region. Her choice for a glass at sunset on the deck is Crittenden Estate Peninsula Fume.
Cellar door sales
John has a long hospitality management background having worked for iconic attractions in the region such as the Peninsula Hot Springs, but lucky for us, his passion for wine brought him to Crittenden Estate.
John has lived on the Mornington Peninsula for 20 something years, raising his 3 girls here, and one of the things he enjoys most about working in the Wine Centre is sharing not only guests enthusiasm for our wines, but the region as well. John loves a Spanish red so our Tempranillo is a favourite. He also enjoys alternative white wine styles, making him a big fan of our Oggi and Savagnin