A winemaker who allegedly destroyed 25,000 litres of chardonnay, worth more than $300,000, at a rival winery in February, faced court in South Australia’s Barossa Valley today.
Trevor Jones, 57, lauded by James Halliday as a five-star winemaker whose 2012 shiraz was given 97 points by the wine critic, is facing charges of criminal trespass and property damage at Kellermeister Wines in Lyndoch.
Police allege he opened the taps on four tanks of 2011 chardonnay on Sunday, February 22, letting it drain away.
Jones was a winemaker at Kellermeister, which his parents, Ralph and Val Jones, founded in 1976. He left in 2010 to start Trevor Jones Fine Wines, also in Lyndoch. A number of wines, including the 2011 Kellermeister Trevor Jones Virgin Chardonnay, were released by his old winery. The names have since been changed, but the Boots range – his nickname – continues.
Mark Pearce, who previously worked at Wirra Wirra, was invited to lead Kellermeister in 2009. Pearce describes his arrival as a time of “significant internal and external business challenges”. In November 2012, Ralph Jones retired, selling the winery to Pearce.
Following the spill, Pearce told Adelaide Now that he was very lucky the premium red wines were unaffected.
“It was just some old chardonnay vintage,” he said.
Jones did not enter a plea during his court appearance today. He’s due to appear again in Adelaide Magistrates Court in June.
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