Brett Schutz - Senior Winemaker

Brett Schutz grew up in the Barossa Valley, surrounded by the beauty and heritage of the region. Time spent working in friends’ and neighbours’ vineyards, work experience with Penfolds, as well as a keen interest in science and chemistry had Brett’s fate sealed part-way through high school.
Brett took part in the Barossa Vintage Festival’s young ambassador program, further strengthening his will to become an important contributor to the Australian wine industry.
Holding a Bachelor’s degree of Agricultural Science, majoring in Oenology from the University of Adelaide, Brett entered the winemaking industry as a Vintage Winemaker at Kingston Estate in 2005. Brett was fortunate to gain further experience with Dorrien Estate/Cellarmasters before making a move to establish a base and raise his family in the beautiful Clare Valley. During his lecturing in Viticulture and Wine from 2008 to 2010, Brett began a winemaking position at Constellation Wines Australia at the iconic Leasingham Wines, followed by a Vintage Winemaking role at Tamar Ridge Estate and finally, a Winemaker for over 12 years at Tim Adams Wines/Mr Mick.
Brett has judged at numerous wine shows, including Clare Wine Show, Hot 100 Wines and Great Australia Red. In addition to his exceptional winemaking experience, Brett’s strengths lie in his ability to lead and manage teams across the winemaking function and connect the viticulture, winemaking, cellar door, sales and marketing teams.
In 2022, Brett joined Peter Lehmann Wines as a Senior Winemaker. Brett has considerable expertise and experience promoting brands in the domestic and international market, as well as running staff wine education sessions and tastings for consumers, media and trade. With his passion for brand promotion, growth, sustainability and leadership, Brett is honoured to further Peter Lehmann’s signature winemaking legacy.

5 Minutes with Andrew

Q. Who is the greatest influence in your winemaking life?
Every winemaker I have worked with has contributed a different piece of knowledge and expertise that has contributed to the winemaker I am today. There is only so much that you can learn at university – the knowledge and experiences of your predecessors are invaluable.

Q. What is your approach to winemaking?
Work as a team with your peers and consider all options and opinions to craft wines everyone can enjoy, keeping a good balance of tradition and innovation in technique.

Q. What winemaking philosophy do you live by?
Great wines are primarily a product of great viticulture. It is up to the winemaker to encapsulate the terroir and take care of the grower’s fruit to deliver a wine that truly reflects the region, using winemaking techniques and methods that promote and complement that.

Q. What is your favourite part of the winemaking process?
Blending – it is amazing to see how often the final wine can become greater than the sum of its parts. When the ‘jigsaw puzzle’ comes together on the palate, it is just like presenting a crafted artwork at an exhibition.

Q. If you could invite one person to share a bottle of your wine with, who would it be?
That’s a tough one! I love getting feedback from wine lovers and enjoy sharing wines with family and friends I have participated in creating.

Q. What is your favourite Peter Lehmann wine and why?
The Masters’ Collection 8 Songs shiraz. A seriously powerful wine, but with a graceful complexity. A wine style anyone would be proud to make.

Q. What is your favourite wine and food match and why?
Nothing beats Riesling and seafood – chilli blue swimmer crab or freshly shucked oysters with a current vintage Rizza… mmmm yum! (Preferably at the beach).

Q. When you are not making wine, what do you enjoy doing?
Spending time with my friends and family doing anything that makes us all smile! Cooking, eating good food, camping, fishing, skiing – both on the water and at the snow and new discoveries through travel.

Q. What’s your favourite wine region in the world - other than your own?
Champagne – so many amazing underground treasures to discover and such beautiful views!

Q. If you weren’t making wine for a living, what would you be doing?
I love flying and am partway through my pilot’s license, unsure if I will ever get around to finishing it!

Q. What do you love most about the Barossa?
A combination of the beauty and history/heritage. It is humbling to be part of something that commands such a high level of interest from international and domestic visitors.

Q. Favourite book?
I don’t really do much reading – I actually don’t think I’ve read a book since high school! Sadly, my reading consists mainly of newspapers and winemaking and viticulture journals!

Q. Favourite movie?
It would be a toss-up between the James Bond series and Indiana Jones.