Pimpernel Vineyards was founded in 2001 when Mark and Fiona Horrigan had the opportunity to purchase their Coldstream site, perfectly situated in the world-renowned Yarra Valley. Planting began in 2003, and in 2008 winemaker Damien Archibald joined the team.
From the outset we’ve been inspired by the great wines and traditions of Burgundy, Rhône, and Loire Valleys in France. Based on principles of intensive land management and minimal intervention winemaking we aim to produce elegant and individual wines that express our terroir.
Cardiologist Mark Horrigan’s passion for wine started long ago. He is a direct descendant of the Chapuis family, lords of Condrieu, whose ancestors are buried in the Church of St Etienne from 1377. His father came from a Welsh mining village, but made his way to university and Australia, finding many things to enjoy, including wine.
When the family moved to Australia in 1957, wine became part of everyday life and, as Mark grew up in the 1970s, the obsession passed from father to son. In 2001 he and his wife Fiona purchased a Yarra Valley property in terroir that has been home to many famous vineyards. Plantings began in 2003 and the winery was completed in 2011.
Mark’s connections to the community as Cardiologist and Vigneron led to establishment of a relationship with the late Dr. Bailey Carrodus, Iconic Yarra Valley winemaker, a key influence on Mark and on Damien Archibald.
Damien grew up in the Yarra Valley on his family’s farm, developing a close relationship with the land from an early age. At 17 he began his first job picking grapes at the prestigious Yarra Yering.
Following harvest, Damien was asked to continue work at the estate, assisting in pruning the vineyard (a task that caused him to think about finding another, much less grueling job).
After several years developing a profound passion for fine wine production under the tutelage of Dr Bailey Carradous, Damien was promoted to Yarra Yering’s Vineyard Manager. It was here that Damien refined his craft in managing vineyards, and in growing some of the highest quality grapes in the Yarra Valley – and indeed the country.
In 2008, Dr Carradous made the recommendation for Damien to be appointed Winemaker and Vineyard Manager at neighbouring Pimpernel Vineyards; and it is here that Damien has excelled.
In collaboration with Dr Mark Horrigan, and through their shared passion for producing classic fine wine using old-world methods, Damien continues to refine his craft and produce unique wines of complexity and distinction.