Travis Fuller - New General Manager of Kilikanoon
Kilikanoon Wines has built an enviable reputation since Kevin Mitchell founded the business in 1997. In fact, Kilikanoon has been rated Australia’s best winery 7 times in the last 11 years – by James Halliday in his 2013 companion, the London based IWSC in 2018 and Germany’s Mundus Vini in 2010 and for the last four years culminating in 2020.
The Kilikanoon Oracle Shiraz has been rated ‘Best Shiraz in the World’ three times, most recently the 2014 Oracle by IWSC, and the 2014 Attunga Shiraz received a similar honour from Decanter in 2019.
This pedigree has been built on the back of Kevin’s great skill as master composer, the quality of component wines delivered to Kevin and his team each year from a diverse range of terroir throughout the Clare Valley, and the uncompromising commitment to quality and style that sets Kilikanoon apart.
Kevin Mitchell and Managing Director Warrick Duthy have both recently made the decision to retain shareholding in Kilikanoon ‘indefinitely’ and to enter into fresh long-term consulting contracts. Kevin will continue his technical direction and be the custodian of consistent style and quality. Warrick will stand down from his executive responsibilities at the end of 2020, but continue as a Director.
Peter Warr who joined us in late 2018 has led the Kilikanoon winemaking team through the 2019 and 2020 vintages and has now been formally appointed as the Chief Operational Winemaker effective immediately. Kirby Graudins who joined Kilikanoon at the same time has also earnt his stripes as a Senior Winemaker.
Kilikanoon has attracted one of Australia’s most highly regarded fine wine marketers Travis Fuller to lead the company through the next stage in its development as General Manager to replace Warrick in his executive capacity.
Travis Fuller has been the custodian of an impressive range of iconic brands from several continents. Travis has also been the fine wine advocate within some of Australia’s largest wine organisations – Southcorp, Accolade, Casella and Pernod Ricard Winemakers for some 30 years. His outstanding palate and understanding of the global wine market has seen him judge internationally as a Jury President at Mundus Vini, Europe’s largest wine competition, as well as at state and regional wine shows in Australia.
Kilikanoon and its loyal followers will look forward to seeing the impact of Travis working with Kevin and very importantly Kilikanoon’s new chief operational winemaker Peter Warr.
Kilikanoon has been led by Warrick Duthy as Managing Director since 2011. Warrick will not be going far. He will manage the business in parallel with Travis for six months before stepping down as Managing Director. However, Warrick will remain a Director and Shareholder of Kilikanoon ‘indefinitely’ and consult to Kilikanoon with focus on corporate governance, long term supply strategy, and investment. Warrick lives down the road at Penobscot Farm in Watervale and is developing the Watervale Hotel as a showcase venue for all Clare Valley produce.
“Travis has followed me around the industry a little so it feels almost inevitable that we should come together at Kilikanoon. Travis joined Southcorp just after I left there in 1992 and looked after the Seppelt and Penfolds brands amongst others. He managed the old Petaluma group brands as well as Hardy’s at Accolade, and an eclectic group of international fine wine brands that I worked with when at Allied Domecq when he was recently Global Fine Wine Director at Pernod Ricard”, says Warrick. “Kilikanoon has been a marketing led brand aimed at building consumer trust through consistency of quality and style only possible with great vineyards and outstanding winemaking. Travis will continue that model and take it to another level.”
“After many years working within large wine companies I am looking forward to getting back closer to the wine and the customers who buy them, the primary reason we all love this amazing industry” Travis said.
“I feel an immense sense of pride to be able to work with Warrick and the team as we look to further cement the outstanding reputation of Kilikanoon in the international marketplace. Having stayed true to its fine wine philosophy, uncompromising commitment to quality and sustainability,N my job is to further nurture this unique and treasured Clare Valley estate. With the help of the dedicated Kilikanoon team we will realise the brands full potential in the coming years.” He added.