This is Ash. Winemaker. Wine lover. And a self-confessed ratbag… as a kid.
Born and bred in the upper Hunter Valley, Ash spent his childhood surrounded by wineries and grapevines. His family taught him a couple of things from day dot:
• What you put in is what you get back
• And to never give up
These days you’ll find Ash running the show with his wife and partner in winemaking crime, Lauren, at Horner Wines – he’s the one in the flanno. Before making his mark on his home turf, Ash had a tinker with the big names – Rosemount Estate, Penfolds, Kamberra Estate, brands of Coonawarra, Mount Pleasant, Saint Clair and Tamburlaine. The result? An impeccable knowledge of his craft and some damn good wine.
Saying that, Ash isn’t your stereotypical winemaker – and that’s the best part about him. He’ll teach you more about wine in five minutes than you’ve picked up in the past five years – minus the wine-snob waffle.
And what better way to learn about wine than in among the barrels at Horner Wines, chatting directly with the guy who created them? We’re talking unique, small batch, high-quality vino made from the best grape varieties picked from their ideal regions – all sampled directly from the oak barrels that surround you.
The tasting bar you’ll sit at isn’t just a place of business for Ash and Lauren, it’s their home. You won’t be greeted by front desk reception, you’ll be welcomed into the fold by the very two people who are growing this good thing from the ground up – literally. The soil you walk on will one day breathe life into their very first vineyard… one they can call their own.
It begins here, now, and they want you to come along for the ride. Ash proved he had the goods when he launched the label with Naked Wines back in 2013 – now he wants even more people to enjoy his life’s passion, direct from his own cellar door.
So next time you’re nearby and fancy a wine tasting experience like no other in picture perfect Pokolbin, drop in at their dog-friendly Cellar Door and say hi or give them a call – after all, it’s not often you’ll have the number of the winemaker himself.
Ash and Lauren Horner are daring to do things differently – it’s goodbye wine-snob attitude and hello small-batch gratitude. Is it hard work? You bet. Is it also the one thing they love most in this world (aside from their kids)? Damn straight. Taking every single grape on its merit and turning it into the best wine it can be is what gets Ash out of bed in the morning. It’s what makes him tick. It’s what dreams are made of. And just as his family taught him way back in his ratbag days, this is one dream he’ll never give up on.
"We love what we do with every fibre of our being – but none of it would mean a thing if the wines we created weren't enjoyed by the good folk we've met on this crazy ride so far. Cheers to you, and thank you."Ash & Lauren Horner