Director / Owner / Original Epicure
Brett founded Epicure in 2007 more by chance than design. Brett can always squeeze ‘one more in’ whether that be an appointment, brand meeting, a quick chat, sneaky beer, phone call or email.
An 8 hour day and a desk aren’t quite enough for this entrepreneurial spirit who sees the world in colours, textures and wine.Originally a farm boy who moved to the city, he started in the family pub at 15 washing dishes and helping in the drive-through (code for unpacking pallets of beer). Duty Managed at 19, Managed at 21 and became General Manager of the family business at age 23 building it to four successful hotels incorporating restaurants, bars, retail and gaming.A Master’s Degree in Business (MBA) led to six years of casual University Lecturing in Business disciplines (Strategy, Entrepreneurship, Managerial Finance), a little alternate income when you’re in the wine game is often necessary.
Brett works in close collaboration with our associated wineries and personally services many of our accounts in South Australia, along with a number in Western Australia, it’s a big territory. He also rates himself an enthusiastic cellar-hand and loves to get dirty around vintage time, offering plenty of free and pointless advice to winemakers. Brett is very keen to spend as much time as possible visiting our associated wineries in Australia and overseas, in the belief that knowledge and passion can only serve to inspire and increase enjoyment of our spectacular wines.
Off duty he enjoys food, wine and craft beer with friends, spending time with his two vivacious (read lively) boy’s, working on the home block building his dream, playing a bit of tennis, loving all sports, imagining long lunches with mates and a Carlton premiership.
WA State Manager / International & Premium Wine Specialist
Once upon a time, Kristen was in an unusually uneventful post-lunch meeting, and struggling to stay focused, when she thought ‘if only they were talking about something interesting like wine’…
Not a lightbulb moment as such, but it wasn’t long after that a well-paying job in the mining industry was exchanged for student life studying Viticulture and Oenology.
Working in wine bars and wine retail helped fund the study, and ensured that a constant supply of good wine (for educational purposes) was on hand.
Kristen went on to enjoy a variety of roles in production and winemaking in many parts of the world. Travel meant being able to fit more than one vintage into a year, leaving just enough time for some wine region travel or snowboarding.
And the rest is history; Kristen has been rocking the wine scene in Perth for some time now – she is Epicures base-camp, keep-the-ball-rolling girl and fountain of knowledge. However she does refuse to indulge us in personal information, so that is why this little bio came to an abrupt end. All you need to know is, this girl truly knows her wine, she may giggle and laugh a lot, but don’t let her congenial nature fool you, this lass knows her stuff.
SA State Manager
Setting up the Family vineyard in the Adelaide Hills instilled an immense wine preoccupation. And after working in the vineyard to support my studies in International Business, I soon decided to focus on wine marketing and exporting. At a similar juncture the vineyard began producing high-quality fruit, which turned into award-winning wine; therefore, tasting and enjoying wine soon became part and parcel of my life.
After leaving university with a Bachelor of International Business tucked under my arm, I secured a job as a Wine Sales Analyst. Working amongst the sales reps lit a competitive fire within me, there was no doubt in my mind, I could sell wine a hell of a lot better than this bunch. Selling wine ignited my passion for exceptional customer service. A keen palate and thirst for broader wine knowledge soon followed.
Moving to Perth as the State Manager for Grant Burge was the next step. Unfortunately, corporate politics and good wine is an oxymoron, and one which I knew wasn’t the path for me. I left the industry to start my own business, during which time, I honed my business skills immensely. However, I missed the wine game and decided to forge my way back.
In South Australia with wine consuming my life once more, full circle and settled. Two key mentors opened my eyes to the world of fine European wines, and well let’s just say I haven’t looked back. Though I am by no means a master of wine, I can indeed hold my own. All you need to know is I can drink wine, and I can damn sure communicate it.
On a personal level, my life is grounded in SA, with a beautiful wife and daughter (and one on the way), a couple of Siberian Huskies, the Adelaide Crows and a golf habit. As a strong advocate for small business, I am a founding member of PickStar, which tends to feed my addiction to sport.
Lastly, my work ethic stands behind these two principles.
- You cannot deliver exceptional service without understanding your customer’s needs. If you are not helping their business, then you are merely an annoying distraction, and wasting everybody’s time.
- With an abundance of excellent wines in this world, it is crazy to play it safe. You’ll never appreciate how amazing the world of wine can be until you step out of the comfort zone – sometimes that is simply trusting your choices to the rep in front of you.
Area Development Manager
A long, long time ago a series of highly unfortunate events led Tony down the crooked path, to the liquor store. He has been regaling the world of wine, booze and hospitality with stories since the early 90s and shall continue to do so under the guise of Area Development Manager for Epicure.
His skills in the kitchen with chocolate have already blessed the warehouse and staying in cooking up a storm, and matching wines to his creations feeds the soul and belly.
Tony has a weird sense of humour and loves a yarn; his lovely girl calls him ricochet rabbit for a reason, adores his little dog and has crazy good memory skills (for certain things anyway)
Those in the WA trade who don’t know him soon will, and those who do expect a chat anytime soon. Always on the beat, this guy is ready to sell you some fabulous wines.
Area Development Manager
The newest kid on the Epicure wine block is no newbie to the wine game. He’s a little quirky, which we think is a good thing for a guy who lives and breathes wine. Kris’s winemaking background began with a degree in Viticulture and Oenology at Curtin University, and he’s never looked back.
He found his cellar and lab feet at St Hallet Wines in the Barossa, TeMata Wines in New Zealand and Covey Run in Washington. A stint in New South Wales at Cumulus Wines as Assistant Winemaker came next, then back to Washington for another Assistant Winemaker position.
Eventually, he moseyed home to Perth for a long stint as Winemaker for Western Range Wines in the Perth Hills. His last foray into winemaking was in a 2013 vintage for one of Northern Rhone’s rockstars, Yves Cuilleron.
Kris has a knack for talking wine, picking wine, tasting wine and selling wine. You will also find him cracking wine jokes, coining wine catchphrases and, unfortunately for him, spending a lot of money on wine. “It’s just part and parcel”, he said. “You ain’t going to learn if you’re not trying. Unfortunately, self-control with purchasing has sometimes been an issue.”
In 2017 Kris won the Western Australian Liquor Industry Scholarship; part of the winning package involved judging with Ray Jordan in 2018 and travelling around Europe’s Wine Regions. In addition to working for Epicure by day he manages to find time to spend his evening’s as Sommelier at one of Perth’s finest establishments; let’s just say he is rather busy.
Accounts & Administration
If you want a smiling can-do, will-do attitude, then you’ve found it with Sian. Epicure’s Jill of all trades keeps the office running, behind the scenes is her scene. Working with spreadsheets and numbers for sixteen years and Hospitality for nine years is reassuring, as she is in charge of the money.
On the side, Sian has four children, a second job, volunteering work and a vast network of friendships she keeps running smoothly. We often shake our heads “how does she do it.” Downtime consists of a cheeky Rosé or Pét-Nat with mates and a whole lot of chit chat.
Warehouse & Logistics
If you want it done, then Tua is your man. This is not the kind of guy to say “nope can’t do that today” – he goes the extra mile, or 10 to ensure wine is delivered on time, intact and nobody runs dry.
Of Irish-Samoan descent, he is fun loving unless you mess with his warehouse. Epicure has been blessed with Tua’s hard working loyalty since 2010, and luckily he doesn’t get sick often as hands would be in the air “what the hell do we do now”.
Born a Kiwi, he didn’t start calling Australia his home until he was 13. As expected the Rugby Union and League games are high priority activities for his spare time, but it’s his daughter who always wins his heart in the end.
Melissa grew up devouring books and writing stories; the pen and paper obsession led to Literature and Creative Writing studies, which were highjacked by the Hospitality industry.
The restaurant world took hold – food and wine is a captivating field. When she’s not chasing down two kids, secretly blogging or drinking wine for research, she can be found ruminating over the way we communicate in the digital age.