Howard Anderson has worked in the wine industry for his entire working life. Despite having no family connections with the wine industry, his first job after completing High School was as a trainee winemaker in a family winery in NSW.
He later worked for B. Seppelt & Co, and gained enormous experience as a Senior Winemaker during his 14 years at their Great Western winery - the showplace for Seppelt's Methode Champenoise (sparkling) wines and premium still wines.
His job with Seppelt brought him to Rutherglen several times as the relief / locum winemaker at their Rutherglen winery, as early as 1972.
After tiring of the petty politics of a large winery, he decided to relocate permanently to Rutherglen, and spent about 5 years as the Winemaker and General Manager of Jolimont wines in Rutherglen.
Here he made the first Sparkling white and red wines in North East Victoria in 1986.
The beginnings of Anderson Winery
In 1992 Howard Anderson bought the 24ha block of land on Chiltern Road, Rutherglen where Anderson winery and vineyard is now situated.
The winery building and Cellar Door was built, and planting started that same year with one hectare of Shiraz. Howard made his first, very small vintages in 1991 and 1992, using the facilities at some other local wineries.
The new winery was ready for action for the 1993 vintage, and the Cellar Door opened in March 1993.
Over the next few years, the Shiraz plantings increased to 4 hectares, and then in 1999 we planted 1 hectare each of Durif and Petit verdot.
In 2007 some more additions were made to the vineyard - half a hectare each of Tempranillo (a Spanish red variety), Saperavi (a Georgian red variety - which is north of Turkey, near the Black Sea), and Chenin blanc, and also 1 hectare of Brown Muscat and a couple of rows of Viognier.
Over the next few years, and seeing how well Durif and Saperavi in particualar were performing - even through the drought - the decision was made to graft over some of our Shiraz to these varieties. Our vineyard area now stands at:
1ha Petit verdot
0.5ha Chenin blanc
While Anderson winery was starting out, Howard's eldest daughter, Christobelle, was completing High school, and making those all important career decisions. Although a few other options were seriously considered, winemaking was the only thing she felt a real connection with. And so, in 2000, she moved to Adelaide to study winemaking. At the end of 2003 she graduated with first class Honours.
As the "Industry experience" part of her degree, she worked vintage 2003 at Brown Brothers Milawa Vineyards, in their "Kindergarten winery", which is where they make all their small batch super premium or experimental wines. In 2004 she was the Vintage Assistant Winemaker (Technical) at Rutherglen Estates, Rutherglen, before jetting overseas to work the northern hemisphere 2004 vintage in Alsace, followed by a 6 month stint in Champagne. She returned to France for a vintage in Burgundy (Meursault) in 2006.
Christobelle returned full time to Anderson winery in mid 2005, and is now making the wines alongside Howard.