Winemaker, St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery
Michael was raised on a vineyard in Australia's Barossa Valley that his family settled six generations ago in 1845. While Michael's informal wine industry training began in childhood, his winemaking career formally began in the mid-1980s.
Over the course of the past thirty years, Michael has progressed from cellar hand to Vice President, Winemaker at St. Supéry, where he built a state-of-the-art winery, which employs techniques of double hand sorting with old world punch down maceration in small lot open top fermenters, along with the more recent technologies, including optical sorting. Michael first worked as St. Supéry's winemaker from 1996 to 2001 and returned as the winemaker again in 2009 after a sabbatical where he expanded his scope by building a winery and planting a mountain vineyard. During his tenure at St. Supéry, he has been instrumental in the continuous improvements to both the Dollarhide Estate Vineyard and the winemaking program. Michael created the distinctive style that made the winery a benchmark producer of Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, and developed our first Bordeaux varietal-based blends.
Michael's credentials include accolades from some of the most esteemed experts in the industry, including oenologist and consultant Michel Rolland, with whom he collaborated with to help develop St. Supéry's proprietary red and white Bordeaux varietal blends, Élu and Virtú. Rolland says, "Michael Scholz is on my list of great winemakers from around the world."
Country born: Australia
Education: Roseworthy College (now a part of the University of Adelaide)
Years in the wine industry: 30+ years
The winemaker's choice of oak is like a chef's choice of ingredients. The barrels give us an opportunity to enhance expression and encourage structure and maturity. The natural combination of the soil, the harvest season and the oak form the future of what you'll taste in two years, or many years later.