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A Barossa legend since 1859

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Alex MacKenzie

Saltram Winemaker

Alex MacKenzie discovered his passion for wine when he was 16 while living in the Rhône Valley as an exchange student. Inspired by the art and mystique of wine production, Alex spent a year backpacking through France, gaining an appreciation for fine food and wine.

Close up head shot of winemaker

Returning to Australia in 1996, Alex took a course in Viticulture at University of Adelaide’s Waite Campus. During this time, Alex worked in the cellar at Tintara, McLaren Vale.

Completing his studies in 2000, Alex returned to France to work a vintage at Maison M. Chapoutier, one of France’s most respected producers and a pioneer of the region. During this vintage, Alex was exposed to bio-dynamic and organic viticultural practices and the role they play in handling super-premium fruit.

This inspired Alex to apply alternative and sustainable viticultural practices and minimal handling techniques in the vineyard, preferring instead to let nature take its course.

Hand wine grapes

Alex completed the 2001 vintage in the Clare Valley and worked vintages from 2002-04 in the Coonawarra and Barossa wine regions while working at Annie’s Lane. Alex also gained exposure to the wine show circuit via tastings with the Australian Wine Research Industry and as a judge. During this period, Alex completed a Post Graduate in Wine Making at Waite Campus.

Eager to explore and employ new styles during his winemaking career, Alex has spent vintages in Piedmont, Chianti, and Mosel in Germany. Alex started as 10th Winemaker at Saltram in 2017 – six years after his first experience with Saltram, working alongside the 8th maker, Nigel Dolan. 

wine maker smelling wine

Today, Alex is keen to bring new ideas to the Saltram portfolio and is particularly interested in exploring Single Vineyard Wines within the Barossa.

Alex remains heavily involved in all facets of the vineyard and its influence on winemaking styles. Working with different varieties and sub regions of the Barossa Valley ensures Alex is extremely enthusiastic about the quality of Barossa Valley wines.

Alex lives on the coast of South Australia with his wife and son - and his beloved antique 1948 Italian coffee machine. Alex is also keen lover of photography and jazz, and has an interest in food and wine integration, establishing the ‘Taste (sans frontieres)’ to encourage food discussions with local winemakers.