Brett Murdoch - Owner and Managing Director
Having attained a winemaking and viticulture diploma from the Eastern Institute of Technology some years prior, and after many years involvement in the New Zealand food processing industry as a professional engineer, Brett undertook direct involvement in the wine world with the establishment of the William Murdoch fine wine label. The fruit for the wines coming exclusively from his Hawke’s Bay, Gimblett Gravels, vineyard.
A passion for harmony with nature coupled with a desire for the highest quality saw the hand tended vineyard and the hand crafted wines certified organic in 2010. Winemaking using natural ferments and with minimal intervention in the winemaking process furthered the creation of unique natural wines.
Brett takes great pride in the production of the serious, high quality, handcrafted and natural William Murdoch wines.
Hayden Penny - Manager and Winemaker
Hayden is one of a new breed of young passionate winemakers who is totally focused on organic and natural winemaking in order to truly show off ones terroir.
While studying a Bachelor of Wine Science and a Bachelor of Viticulture at Hawkes Bay’s E.I.T., Hayden was the recipient of many different scholarships in both the Viticulture and Wine Science fields, including receiving the Romeo Bragato Scholarship in 2005 which saw him travel to Italy and gain work experience in the Friuli, Veneto, Tuscany and Piedmont regions.
In his final year he took up a position with Te Awa Winery and upon graduating quickly established himself as the Assistant Winemaker under the guiding eye of Jenny Dobson.
Following the 2007 vintage Hayden set out on 3 years of being a ‘flying winemaker’ gaining valuable experience in the Sanoma and Napa regions of California, 2 vintages in Marlborough, NZ., 3 Vintages in the Yarra Valley region of Australia, a vintage in Toro, Spain and finished up with a consultancy role in Southern Bulgaria.
In June 2010, Hayden returned to Hawkes Bay and took up the manager’s and winemaker’s role with William Murdoch.
Jenny Dobson - Consultant Winemaker
Jenny has over 30 years of winemaking experience in both France and Australasia.
She studied at Otago University(1975 – 1978) before leaving New Zealand to start her winemaking career in 1979 at Domaine Dujac in Burgundy. After 2 seasons she moved to Paris to work with Steven Spurrier at L’Academie du Vin before taking up the position of Maitre de Chais in 1983 at Château Sénéjac in the Haut Médoc of Bordeaux. Chateau Sénéjac was one of the few properties in the Medocto make white wine from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon as well as the traditional red wines. 12 years later Jenny moved with her family back to the Southern Hemisphere working firstly as winemaker at Frankland Estate in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, before returning to New Zealandas winemaker at Te Awa Farm in Hawkes Bay. Since 2008 Jenny has been working closely with selected winemaking properties on special projects.
Angela Murdoch - Accounts and Administration
Angela has a degree in business and a graduate diploma in Occupational Health & Safety. She looks after the accounting & administration here at William Murdoch.