Paul Lapsley

Chief Wine Maker Accolade Wines

“You know, so many of the best wines in the Hardys cellar from the 1930s and 1940s were blends, and they were truly phenomenal wines. It’s the quality of these wines that really do liberate you from the ‘it must be single vineyard’ way of thinking. Which is not to say that we’re not in the single vineyard game, we just don’t want to be limited by it.”

Where it began


Continuing an enviable winemaking record that stretches across more than 160 years, our 19th Chief Winemaker – Paul Lapsley – is committed to continued innovation in the great Australian blending tradition pioneered by Thomas Hardy.

Paul has been involved in winemaking for more than 35 years, and in that time he has demonstrated a passion for his craft in many of Australia’s premium winegrowing regions.He started in the Hunter Valley, “best place in the world for semillon, medium bodied shiraz and coal dust, and it’s close to Sydney where I grew up, (though my place of birth is Hong Kong, I’m sure my entry into wine was the conditioning I experienced by smelling the ‘fragrant harbour’). My journey continued across Australia taking in the Swan Valley at Houghton, dabbling in the aromatic whites of Western Australia, and wonderfully complex reds of Margaret River and Frankland.”

During vintage you’ll find Paul spending most of the time in the vineyard.

“I am, above all, a grape man. It’s the vineyard that gives wine its greatness, the winemaker then combines their vision, innovation and courage as an extra layer, producing compelling wines of finesse, flavour and complexity. We are only as good as our next wine, there’s too much competition for back patting and self-reflection. We need to keep delivering wines of great value and interest, be they commercial or premium offerings.”

As he approaches his ninth vintage as Chief Winemaker, he is still bounding across this vast country assessing the fruit and potential blends which he hopes you will enjoy in coming years. ”Our company is brilliantly poised to continue the evolution of wine styles, regions and stimulating blends. In our exciting portfolio of wines I’m sure our customers will find a wine that will enhance that special occasion wherever they may be in the world.”