Roseworthy Diploma of Agriculture, Class of 1976
Shortly after graduating with an RDA, Andrew joined Wynns Coonawarra Estate and began his career in the wine industry. He joined Penfolds Wines in 1979, where he established a new Penfolds vineyard in the Clare Valley.
In 1984, ‘Pikes Wines’ was established as he quickly realised Clare’s potential for fine wine production. In 1985, he became the General Manager of Vineyard Operations for the Southcorp Wine Group, ultimately becoming responsible for more than 6000 hectares of corporate vineyard and grape supply on a global basis.
During this time, he remained fully involved with the fledgling ‘Pikes Wines’ in the Polish Hill River Valley, a sub region of the Clare Valley. In 1998, Andrew left Southcorp to join the Pikes family business full time.
Andrew’s father Edgar attended Roseworthy in 1937 and 1938, but because of his father’s passing in his second year, he was called back to look after the family properties at Oakbank, never finishing his studies. “I thought it would be nice if I could finish what he started,” says Andrew.
Andrew originally went to RAC to study oenology, however plans changed, and he completed his Diploma in Agriculture instead. He accepted a viticultural position at Coonawarra after completing his first vintage, and then continued on this career path. “That’s just the way things happen sometimes, I think it’s called fate.”
What does Andrew love about the wine industry?
“It’s just such an interesting and diverse industry and it’s one where you can actually live a lifestyle within your work environment, and there are not too many industries that you can do that in. I think that’s pretty special.”