Jono Hersey was introduced to the world of wine just before the 2010 vintage. He was working in a mining job at the time, often spending days off with old school mate Sam Barry – son of second-generation Clare Valley winemaker Peter Barry. The duo tasted through a range of international gems while surrounded by maps and books – education and adventure in equal measure.
For Hesey the thought of drinking wines from lands unknown was the epitome of excitement. On one auspicious day he joined Sam in the winery; mere hours later he had quit his job and was actively contacting Adelaide Hills wineries in search of a vintage role.
From that point he worked by day in cellars and vineyards, and in fine wine retail during evenings and weekends. By this stage his parents, Garry and Melinda Hersey, had purchased an abandoned vineyard in Kuitpo once owned by Ursula Pridham, Australia’s first qualified female winemaker.
Hersey decided to start selling friends’ wines and created a wine distribution business named Bottle Shock, launched simultaneously with wine label Hersey Vineyard. Bottle Shock was closed when an opportunity arose to take over a business owned by Ross Duke known as The French Wine Centre. A pioneer with fine French wine in Australia, Ross and his partner Bev set Hersey up with a stellar list of clients and introductions to some of the great producers of France.
Today the business represents almost 50 sought-after producers. Hersey spent two years wine auction business Oddbins, remains involved in Hersey Vineyard and continues to enjoy countless good bottles and long lunches!