Joelle Thomson

Wine writer and award winning wine author

What I am drinking, reading and savouring each week


Friday drinks with Ben Glover of Zephyr Wines

Ben Glover has just taken his first deep breath since the start of vintage 2022, a manically busy period of the year at the best of times, but even more so when harvest crews are in short supply. Given the challenges of vintage busyness, Glover shared these questions with the four children he shares with his life partner, Susie Glover. Here are their (collective) thoughts. 

The weekly interview on this website is inspired by the Proust questionnaire

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

The birth of my four children. It's all about George 19, Molly 17, Hazel 16 and Eliza 14, who all say they are just coming into the zone of stealing my car, drawing down on my bank account, fleecing me of any clothing they like, along with strategically auctioning off these old looking bottles of wines sitting in the shed that I've been collecting.

What is your current state of mind?

It has been said that I have selective hearing and miss out on all the jokes.

What is your favourite part of winemaking?

At the time of writing, leading into harvest, it has been wandering around in our organic vineyard – when I'm not there I can be found at The Coterie, our winery.

Do you have a most treasured wine?

Probably the ones snatched from the shed, which apparently I am not yet aware of but there seem to be quite a few wines missing from my children's birth years. These include wines with names such as Margaux, Estephe and a Tart, among some with names such as Roumier and Bonne Mares.

Where is your favourite wine region?

Every now and then it is said that I mumble something about Barolo or Burgundy and get a glazed faraway look in my eyes. This mostly happens around vintage time, when there is a full moon.

When and where are you at your happiest?

I apparently love it when I am dragged off on a walk, run, kayak or bike ride and I do love the challenge of bringing our organic vineyard to life along the Opawa River on Dillons Point Road.

What do you most dislike in wine?

I love reading, love a story and love learning. I loathe wines with no story and no personality or soul.

What talent would you most like to have?

Hard to say but it is said in our family that I have been lucky to pull the wool over Susie's eyes as she is the real deal.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Living vicariously through social media and ultimately comparing yourself to others all  the time.

What do you most value in your friends?

Loyalty and brutal honesty, wrapped with fun, love and humour.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?   

Reaching out and going forward along with the many TLA’s out there; awful three letter acronyms.

What is your favourite meal?

We went to Borneo as a family five years ago and the street/hawker food was incredible.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing what do you think it would be?

I have just finished reading Madhouse at the End of the Earth, a phenomenal reminder of the grit of  early explorers in the Antarctic, such as Shackleton and, more recently, the drive and vision of Sir Peter Blake. Both display grit and inspire me.