Joelle Thomson

Wine writer and award winning wine author

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Change of guard as Craggy Range appoints new chief winemaker

Craggy Range Winery has announced a new chief winemaker today with the promotion of Ben Tombs, who will take over from Julian Richards as head of the winery team.

"When we first hired Ben, we did so with the vision that he would one day take the reins from Julian. Ben understands what we are trying to achieve; he is uncompromising in his pursuit of quality and understands our two great estates in Martinborough and Hawke's Bay," says Terry Peabody, Craggy Range founder.

Tombs' journey in wine has seen him work vintages in Burgundy, Oregon, Yarra Valley, the northern Rhone Valley, Hunter Valley and around New Zealand.

He will take over as chief winemaker In December this year when Julian Grounds returns home to Australia to be closer to extended family with his own young family.

Tombs has a scholarship from the Bragato Research Institute and graduated with an Academic Excellence Award in his Bachelor of Wine Science from the Eastern Institute of Technology. He is currently studying a Master of Business in Global Management and Marketing.