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.
General Manager, WA & SA
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. Firstly, 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. Secondly, 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, SA
BIO in production…
Area Development Manager
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.
MELISSA BREWSTER-JONES (SURTEES)
Marketing & Communications
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.
Accounts & Administration
Living in beautiful Mclaren Vale is truly special, the landscape, people and culture are here for the taking – and Danielle couldn’t think of a better place to raise a family.
Dani has worked in accounts, administration and payroll for eight-plus years and working with wine, money and spreadsheets seems like a great way to spend her free time. Though we doubt there is much of that leftover with three children to wrangle.
After her taxi role for kids is over, you will find Dani enjoying the finer things with her family and friends, namely wine. An all-around happy nature and big smile keep her sane as she battles the finance side of things for Epicure.