Meet the grower
Jason was only one year old when his father died and his mother took the courageous decision to hang on to the family property and continue running it. He grew up helping her on the farm and it seemed only natural that he would eventually take over.
At the age of 16 Jason started a horticultural apprenticeship. He also started share-farming his grandfather's nearby 10-acre block and in the next couple of years, as his grandfather prepared to retire, he began the process of buying that property. A few years later, when his mother was ready to retire, he also bought the family property, including the 100-year-old house he grew up in.
Jason and his wife then went on to purchase another 18-acre block nearby. It had originally belonged to Jason’s grandfather, but was bought by his aunt and uncle, so bringing the whole lot together into a 56-acre farm seemed like the natural thing to do.
More than just sentiment, expanding the farm was also an important part of Jason’s drought management strategy in the very dry years, because it enabled him to focus on younger plantings which need less water.
Jason grows sultanas, currants and Sunmuscats, and all the fruit is trellis dried and then finished using a dehydrator on the farm.
A typical day on the farm depends on the season. In winter, Jason spends his days pruning and maintaining the property, and in summer he is very busy harvesting the fruit. Jason says that’s one of the things he likes about growing grapes. There are always different tasks and challenges, whether it’s trialing new trellises for the fruit, or new varieties to grow.