Here at Willunga 100, we take great pride in our award-winning McLaren Vale wines and have made premium Grenache our speciality. Our small and passionate team, led by winemakers Mike Farmilo and Tim James, have created an exciting and vibrant range that truly showcases the magic of our region.
Before our first vintage in 2005, our team explored the McLaren Vale vineyards and came across plots of 50-year-old Grenache vines. At this time, most of the wine produced from this fruit was destined for blending as there was little demand for top quality Grenache. We decided this had to change, so we made these vines our focus and gave them the attention they deserved. We haven’t looked back since.
The soils in McLaren Vale are among the oldest in the world, estimated at over 500 million years. The resulting low vigour and old vines combine to produce low yields in the vineyard and stunning, concentrated fruit.
We take our name from the historic ‘Hundred’ (administrative area of 100 square miles) of Willunga that was established in 1839 - only three years after the settlement of South Australia – and today marks the land from which much of our fruit is sourced. The tree featured on our bottle label is an old River Red Gum, which stands tall over the vineyards and was already over one hundred years of age when the first vines were planted in McLaren Vale in the 1840s.
Mike Farmilo, Winemaker
Mike is a renowned winemaker with over 40 years’ experience in South Australia. His knowledge of the McLaren Vale region is second to none, which has given him access to some of the finest fruit in the district.
A winemaking graduate of the world-renowned Roseworthy College, Mike began his career at Angoves Winery, followed by 13 years at Southcorp Wine Group. Here, his long involvement with Seaview, Penfolds, Wynn’s of Coonawarra, Lindemans, Seppelts, Coldstream Hills and more culminated with six years in the role of Southcorp’s Group Red Winemaker. During this time, Mike was twice awarded the prestigious Jimmy Watson Trophy and produced Penfolds Grange, St Henri, Bin 707, Bin 389 among others.
Mike left Southcorp in 1997 to pursue his own venture and to help establish Boar’s Rock Winery in McLaren Vale, where he was a founding shareholder and Principal Winemaker. He is now an independent winemaking consultant based in the McLaren Vale.
Tim James, Consultant
Tim is a star of the Australian wine industry and well-known on the winemaking and wine-judging circuit. Raised on a winery site in the Barossa Valley (Leo Buring’s Chateau Leonay, now Richmond Grove), Tim graduated from Roseworthy in 1976, joining Thomas Hardy and Sons as a winemaker, where he progressed quickly to Group Technical Manager and Production Manager of BRL Hardy. After more than 20 years with Hardy’s, Tim undertook a new challenge, holding the position of Managing Director and Winemaker at Wirra Wirra between 2001 and 2007.
Tim is a respected wine judge - with over 34 years’ experience gained in both Australia and New Zealand - and for many years was Director of the Australian Wine Research Institute. Tim joined the Willunga 100 team in 2010, bringing with him his invaluable expertise in McLaren Vale, and has constantly raised the bar in terms of quality and leadership. He had intended to slow down a bit to play more golf, but has only hit a ball across his dam twice since!