As a boy growing up in Brisbane I didn’t know any family named Crittenden other than the one I belonged to, and it was made up entirely of my mother and father brother and sister. To this day I am unaware of any connected relations bearing my family name.
In the early 1960’s I moved to Melbourne (alone) and by the mid 60’s in my early 20’s had developed a modest interest in wine. One day I attended a wine tasting [yes, they had them back then] at, of all places, Burney Horticultural College.
Imagine my surprise when another of the attendees on introducing himself to ask a question said “I’m Doug Crittenden, wine-merchant”. To say I was gobsmacked would be an understatement. It was the first time I had encountered anyone claiming to share my name. Needless to say I soon introduced myself and so began my lifelong friendship with an icon of the retail wine business in Melbourne and for that matter the whole of Australia.
It’s a matter of record now that roughly 20 years after that chance encounter I planted five acres of grapes on the Mornington Peninsula and in so doing doubled the then total plantings; today there are in excess of 2500 acres under grape vines here. Needless to say I was then and still am constantly asked whether Doug was my father?, uncle?, cousin?, you name it. People react with surprise when I say I’m no relation. And I’ll warrant that many of you reading this would have been familiar with and shopped at Doug’s store and most likely known the gregarious man himself. Doug died in late 2014 aged 91 and its estimated that upwards of 300 people attended his memorial service at St Johns in Toorak.
Over the years Doug, at his various shops but particularly at his Hawksburn store, became a firm supporter of our family wines. In 1999 he and his wife Judy faxed me a lovely letter congratulating me on the sale of our families one millionth bottle of wine. As a matter of interest I reproduce it here. Of course, I was a regular visitor to the Hawksburn store and soon became familiar with the adjoining, and equally as famous, Peter Bouchier’s butcher shop.
BACK TO THE FUTURE and the Crittenden name returns to Hawksburn Village, Peter Bouchier has just become a stockist of a range of our wines, AND what’s more, the original letter from Doug and Judy sits framed there and proudly on display in memory of times past.
Go in and take a look!
GARRY CRITTENDEN, DROMANA, APRIL 2017.
Wallara is an innovative, sector leading support service based in Melbourne’s south-east suburbs. Their official website is www.wallara.com.au. A dinner and Auction night on the 23rd of March is to raise funds to assist with this wonderful organisation's efforts to assist those in our community who have a disability "live the life they want to lead". We are proudly donating all wine for the evening. Tickets for the evening are $295 but have unfortunately sold out.
Measured against 34 premium Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noirs Crittenden Estate's 2015 The Zumma Pinot Noir was awarded gold at the Mornington Peninsula Vigneron's Association Wine Show Pinot Noir 2015 class and was the second highest scoring wine receiving 96 points out of a possible 100.
This wine is available to Wine Alliance members only prior to its official release. Click here if you are a member and wish to purhcase, then ensure you log in wtih your member username and password.
Hosted in the barrel hall of the winery this invitation is extended to Wine Alliance Members* and for $50pp* is fully inclusive of:
- Aussie-smoked, American-style BBQ prepared by Red Gum BBQ
- New release wines; Zumma Savagnin and the pinnacle of our range Cri de Coeur Pinot Noir
- A live demonstration of Verjus production (every member gets to take a bottle home with them)
- Special event pricing for all wines purchased to take home on the day (wines to accompany lunch are included in the $50)
*Please note this event is for Wine Alliance Members and their guests only. For more information on how to become a member please contact the Wine Centre on 03 5987 3800.
The 2016 VIC100 (sponsored by The Herald Sun) features wines from across 18 regions and more than 25 varieties – a reflection of the class, range and ability of our state’s winemakers.
VIC100 Head Judge and Curator Nick Stock said that the outstanding quality of the wines submitted, and the razor sharp palates of the experienced judges, had resulted in an outstanding collection of wines for the 2016 VIC100.
2016 judges, and their discerning palates, were:
Chris Crawford, Crown General Manager, Beverage
Dan Buckle, Domaine Chandon Senior Winemaker
Lisa Jenkins, Mac Forbes Sales and Brand Manager
Simon Steele, Medhurst Wines Winemaker
Steve Webber, De Bortoli Yarra Valley Winemaker
Tessa Brown, Vignerons Schmolzer and Brown Winemaker.
We were delighted that The Zumma 2015 Chardonnay was included as one of Victoria's top 100 in 2016. It is not yet released to purchase but please stay tuned or email to register your interest: email@example.com