Founder-winemaker of Jamsheed is a character called Gary Mills. Gary is among the most admired new generation winemakers in Australia, leading the more recent move towards more balanced wines, with elegance and finesse, often from cooler locations and farmed sustainably. Victoria has probably been the leading State for this ‘awakened’ style of viticulture & winemaking, though another hot-spot is the Adelaide Hills in South Australia. Gary’s philosophy of natural winemaking is not dogmatic and his wines are pure, clean and full of character.
Jamsheed was a Persian King, reputed to have fortuitously discovered winemaking, by collecting his favourite fruit (fresh grapes) and keeping them for winter in jars. Inevitably, accidentally, some fermented and produced what the King referred to as poison. One of his wives, who suffered from terrible migraines, is said to have drunk from a jar to end her suffering and instead awoke to find herself cured. Leading to King Jamsheed discovering, making and drinking wine !
Gary has a bachelor’s degree in literature and started his professional life as an English teacher, in Japan. Returning to his native west Australia, he worked vintage in the Margaret River region where he inevitably caught the wine bug. Subsequently, after working for several years under the legendary Paul Draper at Ridge Vineyards in California (then in cool climate Oregon and Washington), Gary returned to Australia with conviction and ambition, knowing in which direction he wanted to focus his talents. He set about locating vineyards in cool climate areas which had the potential to make complex and balanced wines. His research and experimentation to him to Victoria, where the leading ‘European’ style wines in Australia were emerging.
Today, Gary owns Jamsheed, Melbourne’s first ever Urban Winery. His entire focus is on cool climate vineyards, from various parts of the State. Focusing on Syrah and aromatic whites (though he makes some Pinot Noir too), Gary’s wines have developed an incredible reputation and are recognised values in today’s Victorian wine revolution.
The Seville Vineyard is in the Yarra Valley, about an hour due East of Melbourne, in a genuinely cool climate location, with excellent natural rainfall. With Yarra Glen, it is one of two vineyards Gary makes from the Yarra Valley, which traditionally has been most famous for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Seville itself is gaining in fame for its very balanced Syrahs, with neighbouring producer Seville Estate named Winery of the Year in the 2019 James Halliday Wine Companion (the Aussie equivalent of the Platter Guide).