Owner and instigator of the Battle of Bosworth and Spring Seed Wines
Raised in the clean fresh air of McLaren Vale, Joch spent his formative years helping in the vineyard and pestering local marine life in the crystal waters off the St Gulf St Vincent, 7 km to the west of Edgehill Vineyard. No sea creatures were safe from the young Bosworth’s hunting and gathering tendencies, though the bivalves could breathe a sigh of relief once Joch had translated a couple of viewings of the movie ‘Jaws’ into real live terror of the deep. This restricted his fishing activities to what he could achieve from the boat.
Following successful study at Charles Sturt University in New South Wales in viticulture (Associate Diploma 1988-1990) Joch embarked on the quintessential vinous world tour. After spending a season working for Robert Mondavi in the Napa, he then went on to do a vintage or harvest in Oregon, at Willamette Valley Vineyards.
Returning home, Joch was drawn east of the border to Goona Warra, a small Victorian winery in the Sunbury wine region, where he worked for several years. After three years as resident viticulturist and winemaker (including some practice at making Grappa in the lab) Joch returned home to Edgehill Vineyard in 1995 to take over the reins from father and founder, Peter.
Joch’s commitment to organic principles in the vineyards began with an increasing sense of discomfort about using synthetic chemicals on his soils and at the same time, that using natural, old fashioned farming techniques was utterly feasible in a climate as benign as McLaren Vale’s.
Max Allen in his book, The Future Makers; Australian Wines for the 21st Century, describes Joch as one of the ‘most important organic winemakers in Australia’.
Including the 2003 Battle of Bosworth Shiraz in his annual hotlist of 100 Best Australian Wines, UK Wine journalist Matthew Jukes said that Joch is regarded by his peers as ‘an off the wall viticultural genius‘. It might be worth talking to some of his peers to find out exactly what they meant by this statement, but as it stands, it’s a pleasing observation.
Joch was named McLaren Vale’s grape grower of the year at the annual McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism Association’s (MVGWTA) Wine Industry Awards in September 2008. The award recognises best practise viticultural management in McLaren Vale, as well as commitment to innovation, environmental sustainability and grape growing excellence.