Stephen’s extensive knowledge and experience has been garnered over many years working with some Australia’s iconic wineries and alongside numerous overseas vintages at such places as Domaine des Comtes Lafon in Burgundy, Chateau Mouton Rothschild in Bordeaux and G.D. Vajra in Barolo. Other highlights in Stephen’s career include winning the title of International Red Winemaker of the Year at the International Wine Challenge in London, winning the Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show, twice winning the Max Schubert Trophy at the Adelaide Wine Show as well as being listed as one of the 50 most influential contributors to the world of wine by Decanter Magazine.
At the recent annual Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show awards night, the S.C. Pannell 2007 Adelaide Hills Nebbiolo triumphed by claiming three trophies - Best Italian Varietal, Best Red Wine and Best Wine of Show.
The only surprising piece of background is that it took (an admittedly still reasonably youthful) Stephen Pannell (and wife Fiona) so long to cut the painter from Constellation/Hardys and establish their own winemaking and consulting business. Steve radiates intensity, and extended experience, backed by equally long experimentation and thought, has resulted in wines of the highest quality right from the first vintage. The Pannells purchased their first vineyard in McLaren Vale, planted in 1891, with a precious 3.57ha of shiraz; grenache, his most loved variety, will be one of the first varieties planted. Owning the vineyard will also give Stephen the ability to self-manage the vineyard, with the aim of generating full flavour ripeness as close to 13% as possible. The future for the Pannells is limitless, the icon status of the label already established.