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A bottle of good wine can help solve many problems. At least that was the thinking of friends Norm Doole and Drew Dowie as they watched the sun rise after enduring a cold, all-night session harvesting some of their fruit during the difficult 1995 vintage.

Seeing their grapes being trucked away to other wineries and frustrated at not being in control of their fruit from that point, the two opened a bottle of red wine over breakfast and decided then to form a partnership, the purpose of which was to take charge of all aspects of growing grapes, making, bottling and selling their own wine.

Enlisting the help of another friend, wine marketer Leigh Gilligan, to write a business plan, cajoling legendary local winemaker Brian Light into making the wine and briefing renowned designer Barrie Tucker to create a label – the fledgling DOWIE DOOLE wine business was formed in late 1995.

As wine writer Huon Hooke so aptly put it – "not even the most coke addled advertising executive could have come up with the name DOWIE DOOLE, but this name now enjoys a growing reputation in Australia and overseas as a consistently excellent producer of Chenin Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz".

Committed to growing and making “classic” regional McLaren Vale wines, DOWIE DOOLE utilise predominantly estate-grown fruit which is crushed, fermented, and matured at Boar’s Rock winery in McLaren Vale under winemaker Chris Thomas' guidance. Leigh Gilligan, who joined as a partner in 1998, now manages the day-to-day operations, while Norm Doole oversees the Norjan vineyard in the heart of McLaren Vale and Drew Dowie’s wife Lulu Lunn takes care of viticultural operations at Tintookie Vineyard in the hills above McLaren Vale at Blewitt Springs.




Using only the finest fruit and facilities.