Scarborough is not something we inherited, we created this dream from blood, sweat, tears and several glasses of Chardonnay…
60’s: An Intersection of Fate
Ian ‘Scarbie’ Scarborough had recently graduated from Roseworthy when he chanced upon Merralea who had broken down in a ute on an intersection in the Barossa Valley. It was meant to be. The ute never recovered but the relationship flourished....
Three years later they married. For a brief period Scarbie worked with Peter Lehmann at Saltrams but the desire to travel was strong. They took a trip to the Hunter Valley and it was one of those life changing discoveries.
They decided to make it their home.
70’s – New Beginnings
The move to the Hunter brought with it not just the chance of a new beginning but a new life as well, as their first child Jerome was born. Scarbie quickly busied himself with winemaking duties at Tulloch Wines where he remained for the rest of the 70's.
It was an idyllic setting for the Scarborough children who by subtle osmosis were being drip-fed the roles of future winemakers and marketers respectively. The temptation to start their own wine company became too tempting and by the end of the decade the Scarborough’s purchased the Gillards Road property.
80’s – The roots are planted
Unburdened by the prospect of replanting a whole vineyard the Scarborough clan set about creating their vision for the future. It rested on Chardonnay. Scarbie knew the site was right and got rid of all the Shiraz that had previously been planted there.
Passionate, determined and slightly mad they slowly realized their dream. Little did they how strategic and propitious their choice of grape variety was to be. The Chardonnay boom was about to explode. The first vintage was 1987 and the small amount of wine was made in the garage of the house where the cellar door stands today.
90’s – Chardonnay fever
The next decade saw the Scarborough’s release their most ubiquitous Chardonnay – the Yellow Label. There was steady growth, so much so that the garage where they made the wine made way for the cellar door on Gillards.
The name started to spread thanks to the family’s unique hand selling. Loading the car up with a pallet of wines, Merralea or Scarbie would head to Sydney and hand-deliver their wine. They got lucky. Some of Sydney’s finest restaurants embraced the style from the get go. Many of these restaurants still sell the Yellow Label Chardonnay today.
The business grew, more vines were made available and by the end of the 90s, the Sunshine property was acquired.
00’s – Growth and maturity
The naughties saw Scarborough Wine Co. become an established name amongst the finest in the Hunter Valley, well known for their Chardonnay and Pinot.
As the business grew so too did the need for the family to help. Jerome trained as viticulturalist and came back to learn the ropes. Sally studied marketing and busied herself with the branding and shifting an ever-increasing volume of wine.
The family business model was complete.
The Next Generation
Today, Scarborough Wine Co. stands tall as one of the most recognized Hunter Valley wineries and a must visit cellar door experience. In 2011 a second cellar door was born; Scarborough on Hermitage, offering the extensive range in a different environment with the same attention to detail that can be found at the Gillards Road property. There has been growth into new varieties, Rosé, Verdelho, three types of Chardonnay as well as Pinot and a sticky.
Scarborough goes from strength to strength.