In the midst of vintage chaos, we managed to get Sophie Melton, Assistant Winemaker at Thorn-Clarke Wines to spare us 5 minutes ahead of our Masters Apprentices event on May 2.

Did you always want to be a winemaker? As a child, what did you want to be?

Winemaking was always on the radar for me. I did consider dentistry but after a vintage at Peter Lehmann’s in my gap year, I decided the wine game was for me. I often think about this vintage – if I had taken a vintage role elsewhere, who knows where I’d be!

10 year old me wouldn’t be surprised at where I am now – but might be surprised at how much cleaning is involved in winemaking!

Who is your mentor?

Peter Kelly, Winemaker at Thorn-Clarke Wines. A quote that has stuck with me since my first vintage is “Almost everything can be un-done. Blending can’t be, so don’t F@+! that up!”

What do you hope to see in Barossa’s future?

I’d like to see our winemakers continuing the traditions of Barossa, but putting a modern twist on it.



You can catch Sophie as part of the winemaking team at Masters Apprentices, a Tasting Australia event Sunday 2 May 2021.

Yesterday’s apprentices > Today’s mentors > Tomorrow’s masters.

5 courses + 10 wines delivered through the eyes of 6 chefs + 10 winemakers destined to make their mark, leading the next generation of Barosssa food and wine.

Tickets $155pp –