Former Matilda Bay Brewery founder Phil Sexton has launched a second wine label.
Mr Sexton launched Giant Steps in the Yarra Valley a few years ago and is now in the pro-cess of constructing a purpose-built winery for his second label, Innocent Bystander.
Local branding outfit BrainCELLS designed the Innocent Bystander label.
Susan Tyzack, who has worked in Western Australia’s hospitality industry for some time, most recently at Little Creatures, is now in charge of marketing and sales for the Giant Steps and Innocent Bystander labels.
According to Ms Tyzack the new label will be a volume seller, while Giant Steps will maintain its premium focus.
“It’s designed to drink now and to have a bit of fun with,” Ms Tyzack says.
Innocent Bystander was recently launched at restaurants including Altos, Bar One and Duende, and has also found shelf space at H&C Cellars in Wembley. A bigger distribution push is now on, according to Ms Tyzack.
Innocent By-stander winery is due to open in the Yarra Valley next February.
“It will have the capacity to crush 500 tonnes,” Ms Tyzack says.
“At the moment we’ve been renting premises. We’re calling it Innocent Bystander because we will sell more of that in terms of volume, so it will effectively become the parent company.
“We’re very excited about the winery. It’s going to have a massive cellar door and a cafe with a pizza oven and it’s on the main road into Healesville; it’s going to be a great draw card for the Yarra Valley.”
The winery is about 10 minutes from the vineyard, owned by Giant Steps.
Innocent Bystander is made from contract grapes.
“We’re doing Innocent Bystander very differently to Giant Steps and we’re in the process of getting contracts from growers for the next 10 to 15 years,” Ms Tyzack says.
There are four Innocent Bystander varieties – pinot gris (far left), shiraz viognier, sangiovese merlot (centre), pinot rose (left).
The wines retail between $17 and $21.