Janice McDonald, Chief Winemaker
Janice McDonald has been Howard Park’s chief winemaker since 2011. It was a fascination for Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon that initially drew her across the Nullabor from her native New South Wales. She held winemaking roles at Vasse Felix and Devil’s Lair, as well as a period at Matilda Bay Brewing Co, before founding Stella Bella, where she received substantial critical acclaim.
During her time at Howard Park Janice has been responsible for a continual increase in quality across the entire range. She has won numerous awards including ‘Best Australian Sparkling’ and ‘Best in Class – Australian NV Brut Blend’ at the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships in London 2017, for the Howard Park NV Jeté Brut Blanc. She was named Gourmet Traveller WINE’s Winemaker of the Year in 2018.
Janice acknowledges that it is the harmony between all facets of the winery and vineyard that allows for the production of such a strong range of wines year in year out.
Nic Bowen, Chief Winemaker
Nic Bowen joined the Howard Park winemaking team for the 2021 vintage.
Born in the Great Southern region into a winemaking family, he was for a time a professional triathlete, before completing a commerce degree and working in financial planning. However this path wasn’t for him.
Working vintage in Bordeaux and the South of France made Nic appreciate the cultural interaction of wine, people, food and place and returning to Australia he went back to university to gain a degree in winemaking and pursue a career in the industry. He landed a coveted role at Hardys in South Australia, making wines for Tintara and working closely with sparkling wine master Ed Carr at House of Arras.
Nic enjoys the combination of artistry and blending and understanding what each parcel of fruit brings to the palate of the wine. He has a particular passion for sparkling wine and is excited about the possibilities of the Jeté range. He’s looking to experiment with yeasting rates, ageing and oak use and building more layers of complexity into those wines.
Mark Bailey, Senior Winemaker
With a background in hospitality in Australia and UK, Mark worked vintage in France before becoming a cellarhand at Houghton Wines in the Swan Valley. After studying winemaking at Charles Sturt University, Mark moved to Margaret River in 2006 to feed his desire to make top quality Chardonnay and Cabernet, joining the Howard Park team initially as Senior Cellarhand, progressing to Assistant Winemaker and becoming Senior Winemaker in 2015.
David Botting, Chief Viticulturist
David Joined Howard Park in 2004. His many achievements leading the viticultural team include planting the Allingham vineyard from scratch, nurturing the Mount Barrow vineyard, importing new clones, establishing a rootling nursery and introducing an extensive composting regime.
David began his career at an early age in his family’s grape growing business, before studying and teaching viticulture at Roseworthy Agricultural College in the early 1990s and working with one of Australia’s leading viticultural consultancies.
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