The Grape Escape - How We Found Our True Calling

We were living and working (way too many hours) in Port Douglas, Far North Queensland. Libbi was an international director of sales for a large hotel chain, travelling for 6 months of the year. Ian owned and managed a waste management company, working crazy hours. We reached a point in our mid-30s where we lived to work rather than vice versa. So in 2007, we bit the bullet, sold the company, quit the treadmill and bought a vineyard (how hard could that be?). By the way, at this point, I’d only ever grown tomatoes.

From Tomatoes to Wine

The moment we stepped onto the land, we had a connection with the place. It’s hard to explain, but we were home! Ian engaged a great Viticulturist, who he then proceeded to drive insane with never-ending questions and ideas as a total nubile to the wine industry. It was not so much a steep learning curve as a right angle. Ian had come accustomed to being in control of situations, and this was a complete 180 flip with a 2 ½ pike, Mother Nature now calling the shots. Let the fun begin!

At a Grower’s dinner, Ian asked Darry Osborn (the legend of D’arenberg):
“Any advice for a new grower, Darry?”
“Do you like roller coasters, mate?”
“Yeah, they’re fun.” Ian replied
“Well, you’re gonna love the wine business.”

Never have truer words been spoken!

Ian sharing their Dabblebrook story during Dabblers lunch event

Life's too short for bad wine and boring people.

Find the spice of life in a bottle of Dabblebrook, or join us at our upcoming events!

What's in a Name...

The name DABBLEBROOK came about one night when Lib and Ian were having a glass or two of wine and came up with the idea of all the letters of Lib’s name, their dog Bob, and Ian’s name (that’s the pecking order). They chose random Scrabble tiles, and the first word was DABBLE. They looked it up in the dictionary, and one definition was “to play in liquid with one’s hands” (well, if that isn’t winemaking, I don’t know what is). Plus, there is a seasonal creek that runs the length of the vineyard, so hey, a bit of artistic licence there you have the BROOK.

Dabblebrook was Born!

With the goal of growing the best grapes possible from the vineyard, Ian took to learning all he could regarding growing grapes and making wine. He made some spectacular mistakes along the way, but that didn’t dampen his enthusiasm – it made his approach unique. With no preconceptions or traditions (peer pressure from dead people), the journey was well and truly underway.

Wine not?

Join us for a tasting and discover why Dabblebrook is so much more than just wine!

Ian and two other girls smiling while each holding a glass of wine

From Vine to Glass - A Journey Through Our Small But Mighty Vineyard

We’re a small vineyard that tends 13 acres, with 8 acres of Shiraz vine, 5 acres of Grenache, and a small plot of Grenache Blanc. Our vineyard is situated in Sellicks Hill, at the foothills of the Onkaparinga Range, approximately 40km south of Adelaide, South Australia. McLaren Vale region is renowned for being close to the sea and the beach (The pups love a good beach run) and is home to small winemakers and Vignerons. Approximately 300 independent grape growers tend some 5,000 hectares (12,000 acres) of vines in the region.

McLaren Vale was one of the earliest regions to have vines planted in South Australia, with the first recorded plantings in 1838 by John Reynell in Reynella, south of Adelaide. The region is best described as a Mediterranean climate with winter-dominant rainfall, low relative humidity, and high relative evaporation. Our vines benefit from cooling gully winds (otherwise known as bloody windy afternoons) in summer, the ocean’s proximity, moderate winter temperatures, and sea breezes help relieve hot summer afternoons. These unique conditions allow us to have very low inputs of chemicals in our vineyards to prevent disease. It’s no wonder that McLaren Vale is considered one of Australia’s most consistent premium wine-growing regions.

Dabblebrook wines served with macaroons during Dabblers lunch event

Wine down and boogie at Dabblebrook. We'll provide the wine and the dance floor

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