Steve Pannell grew up at Mosswood in Margaret River, which his parents established in the late 60s. After selling it to Keith and Clare Mugford in 1985, Bill and Sandra Pannell went on to have part ownership of Domaine de la Pousse d’Or in Volnay, Burgundy. Given this lineage it’s hardly surprising Steve ended up working in all areas of the wine industry and these days is regarded as one of the most talented and progressive winemakers in the country. Here are just a few snippets from his impressive CV.
- International Red Winemaker of the year, International Wine Challenge 1999
- BRL Chief Red Winemaker from 1999-2003.
- Worked at big names overseas including: Domaine des Comtes Lafon (Burgundy), Chateau Mouton Rothschild (Bordeaux) & G.D. Vajra (Barolo).
- Won Australia’s most prestigious wine award, the Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy twice.
- First winemaker to win the Bushing Trophy for Best Red wine in the McLaren Vale show 4 times.
- Two-time Max Schubert Trophy winner (Most Outstanding Red Wine at the Royal Adelaide Wine Show).
- Gourmet Traveller Winemaker of the Year in 2015.
- Named as one of the 50 most influential contributors to the world of wine by Decanter Magazine.
“It would be difficult to conjure a more complete all round wine guy than Steve Pannell. He really understands the vineyard, the winery, the market, the zeitgeist and wine quality. His wines result from this, so little wonder at his success.” Huon Hooke, The Real Review.
“The future of the Pannells is limitless, the icon status of the label already established.” James Halliday.
Steve set up his own label SC Pannell in 2004 whilst still at BRL and several years later acquired his own vineyard, winery and cellar door in McLaren Vale. Steve also makes wine from his Koomilya vineyard (McLaren Vale) and Protero vineyard (Adelaide Hills). He grows his fruit without irrigation and with an emphasis on environmental sustainability.
"This is exceptional, although not for the faint of heart. A mid-weighted and immensely savoury wine that is compact, portentous and so tightly bound to a ferrous orb of tannins that it makes one revel in the anticipation of the next sip. Italian of feel. Steely of resolve. Earthenware, herb, violet, biltong and a dusty swathe of dried plum and tobacco. The tannins are reminiscent of certain Wendouree cuvées or better, great Taurasi. They are a forcefield of enticement, confidence and saliva-sucking moreishness. I want to drink this whole bottle solo, so good is it. A stellar wine hailing from a spellbinding site."
97 points. Ned Goodwin MW. Halliday Wine Companion.
Awarded 2023 Other Reds and Blends of the Year, Halliday Wine Companion Awards.