CHIEF WINEMAKER - Matt O'Leary
Growing up in a family that included wine merchants, a publican, a wine writer and many enthusiastic supporters of Australian wine, Matt’s interest was cultivated from a young age. In fact, Matt started his early wine career working in a bottle shop while completing a Business degree, majoring in Marketing. His university degree and work experience saw Matt move to the UK and although looking to work in the wine industry he landed a job with Olivetti Computers giving him the environment in which he could hone his business and marketing skills.
As the years passed, Matt fell increasingly out of love with the IT industry and strongly in-love with winemaking. In 1997 he was accepted at Charles Sturt University to do a Bachelor of Applied Science (Winemaking) by correspondence. At the same time, a vintage job in the Saltram cellars came Matt’s way, along with vineyard work in the Eden Valley. He spent three months picking up rocks in a new vineyard, as well as learning to prune vines. Eventually, a cellar position opened at Wolf Blass and, for the 1998 vintage, Matt worked in the laboratory, which brought him in contact with the winemakers and their regular vintage tastings. A stint at Krondorf for the 1999 vintage saw Matt promoted to Assistant Winemaker. He returned to Wolf Blass the following year, working on both red and white wines to reach the role of Senior Winemaker.
During Matt’s 18+ years at Wolf Blass he was recognized for his winemaking skills by winning numerous trophies and accolades for the wines he produced. The ultimate recognition was taking out the honour for producing the World’s Best Chardonnay voted by the Hong Kong International Wine Challenge. Another great highlight was winning Best Wine of Show at the 2009 Royal Adelaide Wine Show, a recognition that included a trip to Germany to study the production of Riesling. Add to these Best Chardonnay in the Melbourne and Sydney Wine Shows, Best Sauvignon Blanc at the Hyatt Awards and leading the team voted as International Winemakers of the Year by the International Wine Challenge in London.
In 2015, Matt was given the opportunity to join the team at Savitas Wines. The exciting aspect of this venture is the shared vision to establish a new wine business focused on making quality wines and bringing this pleasure to the wine drinking community. This vision fits perfectly with Matt’s adage that “as exciting as it is to win trophies and accolades there is nothing better than seeing other people enjoying wines that you have put your heart and soul into.”
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER - Chris Insanally
Savitas Wines is a result of a life-long dream to establish, build and develop a start-up company and be motivated by the opportunity to create success for a team of people who you really care about Chris is thankful for the opportunity to lead the organisation.
"Wine is pleasure" defines Chris’ personal view and being able to combine the commercial aspects of leading a private company with a passion for the wine industry is a perfect fit and one that generates a natural motivation for quality and success.
MBA qualified, Chris is an entrepreneurial executive with experience in the retail, alcohol, food and beverage, mining and accounting private practice industries.
Chris has experienced working at regional and global levels including having held roles either based in or involving the UK, Australia, America, NZ and Asia.
Having a history for developing individuals and teams, challenging the status quo and leading organisational change Chris' key competencies include; Direct & Indirect Leadership, Global Strategy and Execution, Global Optimisation, Supply Chain, Business Development, Change Management Leadership, Internal and External Customer Management, Contract development, negotiation and execution, Integrated Business Planning and Global reporting and standardisation.
Chris continues to understand that taking risks, backing your beliefs and remaining positive are all key components in delivering results during this exciting journey.
Applying a view that the Wine glass is always half full Chris hopes that anyone’s experience with Savitas Wines is memorable for the right reasons and that this is merely the beginning of our journey……….