Lethbridge Wines

Our Story

Have you ever sat around enjoying a drink with your friends and imagined ‘What if we could…..??’.

This is how our story began:

Lethbridge Wines grew from a friendship between Ray Nadeson, Maree Collis and Adrian Thomas.  Back in the mid 1990’s we were busy establishing careers in science and medicine and shared a love of great wine which ultimately became quite an obsession. The afternoons sipping Burgundies were replaced by weekends searching for the perfect vineyard site and then by afternoons digging holes and planting vines. For two of us (Maree and Ray) the passion for wine drove us to a tree change, and in 2003 after 7 years of balancing careers in science and running a vineyard and winery, we made Lethbridge Wines our raison d'être.

Our aim is to produce natural, savory wines that focus on balance and texture with a real sense of place or terroir.

Maree Collis and Ray Nadeson are not your average winemakers of a boutique winery. Both were initially trained as research scientists and hold PhD degrees in chemistry and medicine, respectively. While combining their scientific careers with winemaking, Maree and Ray completed the winemaking degree at Charles Sturt University. Ray states, "winemaking is not really that different to science, both are creative and both involve 99% perspiration, 1% inspiration".

Not surprisingly, the site at Lethbridge was selected based on scientific principles such as soil type, degree days and other climatic indicators, yet when the three partners first explored the property they discovered an ancient old wooden fermentation vat in one of the old sheds. Discussion with the previous owner (Ivor Perdrisat) revealed that his family, Swiss in origin, had planted a vineyard on the exact site back in the 1870's before the discovery of phylloxera in the region. The old wine vat has been reincarnated as a beautiful timber tasting bench in the cellar door. This story is compelling in the connection between traditional wisdom and modern science.

Lethbridge Wines is a situated in the Moorabool valley in the Geelong wine region.  Back in the 1860’s the Geelong region was the largest grape-growing region in Victoria, having been established by immigrant Swiss vignerons.  Unsurprisingly the varieties planted were said to include ’Hermitage’, Burgundy and Chasselas . The wines produced from the  region won numerous prizes at local and European wine shows.  When phylloxera was discovered in the region in the early1880’s the vineyard  were destroyed and it was not until the late 1960’s early 1970’s that vines were again planted in the Geelong region.

Our Wines