Jacob Stein, chief winemaker at Robert Stein Vineyard has recently been awarded one of the most prestigious national awards in the wine industry – Gourmet Traveller Wine ‘Young Winemaker of the Year 2012’
Robert Stein Vineyard was established by Robert and Lorna Stein in 1976, starting with just 2 hectares of Shiraz. With the help of friends and family, the vineyard flourished and has grown to become a successful enterprise, earning a reputation as one of Mudgee and NSW’s premier quality wine producers. Founder Roberts son, Andrew Stein was involved in the establishment of the vineyard and winery and in 2005 made Mudgee his home. The third generation of winemaker whose lineage in winemaking dates back to the mid 1800’s, came in 2009 when the founders grandson Jacob Stein returned after working 7 vintages both abroad and nationally.
The family vineyard is now over 35 years old, and is seeing its “old vines” produce exceptional quality fruit for wine. Jacob attributes much of his winemaking success to the excellent vineyard site and growing conditions of the Mudgee region. Jacob explains, “Mudgee has excellent attributes for growing grapes. The continental climate with warm days and cool nights, combined with excellent soil profiles. It has many high altitude vineyards creating wine with distinct regional character”.
After graduating from University, Jacob spent 5 years away from Mudgee, visiting and working in many wineries including Italy, Canada, Western Australia and Victoria. However, he still recalls the long vintages in Germany fondly, as it was there that his love for Riesling blossomed. Working in the regions of Germany where his ancestors 8 generations ago were growing grapes and making wines from these same vineyards was a “real buzz”
2009 marked an exciting year for Robert Stein Winery as third generation Jacob returned to Mudgee to take over the helm as chief Winemaker. Today Robert Stein Rieslings are well decorated and fast becoming known as one of NSW’s best examples of this varietal. However it was his recent release, a 2009 Reserve Cabernet Shiraz blend that was the deciding factor in his latest award, the Gourmet Traveller Young Winemaker of the Year for 2012. At age 28, and given his enviable list of awards, one would think the best is yet to come from this young winemaker.
Jacob Stein’s career highlights: