COUNTDOWN: DAY 168: 5th Generation Don Oliver – Stoicism Personified

There would be no other path for Don (DJ) Oliver. Not ever. For Don Oliver it has always been about the vines.

Born in post-war country South Australia, as a young boy Don would ride the family’s Clydesdale bare back after school to help his father in the vineyard.

Don studied the first Certificate of Agriculture at Urrbrae College and his continued viticultural work saw him receive the inaugural McLaren Vale Grape Growers Association “Viticulturalist of the Year” Award.

Don is a man of few words unless absolutely necessary, straight up and down like the rows of vines he keeps an eye on every day as the Managing Director of Oliver’s Taranga.

We asked Don a few questions and here are his answers:

What is your proudest moment?

Of course- the birth of my daughter Brioni. I would also have to say the acceptance of our Shiraz fruit into the Penfolds’ Grange over the last decade.  It is testament to our great vineyard site and confirmation of our vine growing practices.

Your favourite wine?

My favourite wine would be the ‘Sagrantino’- one of our Italian small batch varieties.  It has been a huge challenge to grow, so it is appreciated all the more when we produce a wine.  Marg and I were also lucky to visit ‘Montefalco’ in 2005 where this variety originates.

Most challenging thing about being an Oliver?

The most challenging thing is to keep the Oliver family focused on the business, while still relating as a normal family.