DANIEL HOPKINS / Principal

I’m fortunate to have a career that has spanned two of my passions, sport and wine. As a distance runner I was often invited by my coach, a keen wine collector to join him for weekends visiting Victorian cellar doors which sparked my early interest in wine.

Growing up with my father and sharing some exceptional bottles from his cellar was admittedly a very good introduction. We are only a small team at Tellurian but we share a common passion to make quality wines that showcase our region.

Our greatest thrill is seeing our wines on restaurant wine lists, large and small and on the shelves of fine wine retailers around the country.

In my mid-20s I worked for Nike in London managing a team of Kenyan distance athletes. My wife Tash was also working there and we shared some mind blowing experiences; being in the lead vehicle at the Berlin Marathon; working on the New York Marathon; and setting up a Nike pop-up store at the Honolulu Marathon the size of four basketball courts.

» Read More

We also attended some of the world’s greatest sporting events, 1996 Atlanta Olympics, 2000 Sydney Olympics, 1998 Kuala Lumpar and 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games and World Athletics Championships in Seville, Edmonton and Paris.

In 2003 I commenced an MBA, dreaming one day of running my own business. My first project was a marketing/business plan for a small Mount Macedon winery and I loved it; from then on I studied the wine industry at every opportunity.

I made the jump from sport to wine in 2005, joining Domain Chandon as marketing manager. It was fantastic. I experienced some astounding blending sessions, tasting 30 different chardonnays, 38 pinot noirs. My knowledge and ability to dissect wine was fast tracked. My favourite moment was during a vintage, knee-deep shovelling out a Yarra Valley Cabernet ferment. I’ll never forget it. The aroma was incredible. I could have done that for days.

When Tash was pregnant with our daughter Layla our world was turned on its head. Tash’s waters broke at 22 weeks and we thought we’d lost our baby. Luckily with bed rest she was able to hold on until 23 weeks and 5 days. Layla was only 590 grams. The hospital warned us to prepare for the worst. I needed to get a job closer to the city as Layla was in hospital for 9 months, So for a time I joined Colonial First State Global Asset Management.

My opportunity to re-join wine came at the end of 2009. Dad was getting ready to launch Tellurian and needed my expertise in taking the wine to market. It was serendipitous for us both!

I believe in Heathcote. When dad bought land to plant vineyards on Mount Camel, I knew he’d picked the right region. At Domaine Chandon we often lined up components from Yarra Valley, Rutherglen and Heathcote. The Heathcote fruit was a standout every time.

Where ever I go I take my running shoes, I tell myself it’s about a balanced lifestyle, but the truth is I love the solitude and calmness of a city on my early morning runs, and it gives me a chance to explore some of the best city running routes around Australia – let me know if you need a recommendation!

» Hide