Head off the beaten track, beyond Heathcote and deep into the bushland you’ll find Wild Duck Creek. Surrounded by the dark, skinny branches of the many ironbark trees, it seems like an unlikely place to start a winery. A globally renowned winery, at that.
It makes sense then, when you realise that the land David Anderson purchased as an 18-year- old back in 1971 wasn’t for grapes, it was an escape. A place to go camping with his mates and get out of the city.
Liam, David’s son, has been working in the family business alongside his father for almost 20 years now and he explains that, in a way, Wild Duck Creek was almost an accident.
“After buying the land, he fell in love with wine and over me he started thinking that perhaps he might like to make it,” Liam says. “Before he was a winemaker he was a fencing contractor and a photographer. During the recession in the late 80s, when interest rates went up to around 17%, Mum and Dad couldn’t afford to maintain their mortgage where we were living in Hurstbridge. They sold the house and they were forced to find somewhere else to live.
“Dad’s parents had built a li le house on the property next to the land Dad had bought back in the 70s. They’d built it in the early 80s and it was just si ng there vacant. We packed up and moved to Heathcote in 1989 and we plonked ourselves there for four or five years. Then we shifted into what is now the winery for six years.”
The first official vintage of Wild Duck Creek Estate was 1990. David and his wife, Diane, with three young kids in tow, hit the ground running. “They had to do something,” Liam says. “So they made a little wine and just survived on not much for a long, long me.”
An exert from the recently published book, ‘A Sense of Place’, written by Sonia Anthony and Amy Doak. To read David and Liam’s complete journey and the story behind Wild Duck Creek Estate, purchase the book online here: https://oftheworldbooks.com/product/asenseofplace/