Cellar Operations Manager
Mark spent the first 22 years of his working life at one of Australia’s largest banks - which bank?? – where he gained valuable experience in customer relationship management, back office operations and processing. During this time, he had ample opportunity to display his strong work ethic and passion for outstanding customer service. He has always believed and exemplifies the old adage ‘treat people the way you would like to be treated’.
10 years ago Mark looked for a change in direction – though he enjoyed his role, there was something missing...WINE! Mark joined the Wine-ark team in search of a more exciting working life that tied to his life-long passion for food and wine. He now places the same care and importance on every bottle in storage as he did looking after his banking clients’ investments.
Mark has played an important role in the growth of Wine Ark, from the original two Sydney centres to overseeing the wine cellar holdings in 16 locations around Australia. Outside of work, Mark loves watching sport and apart from wine, his other passion is of course, food!
Asked to write a tasting note to describe himself…”The Wine Ark vineyard continues to grow and flourish, and this wine maintains a reliable standard despite challenging conditions and a changing terroir. A fine example that hard work and attention to detail can achieve great results in the vineyard”.
Wine Sales Manager
Mark has been in the wine trade since he was legally old enough to be, with a passion for wine that developed long before that. Bars, restaurants, bottle shops, wineries and wholesalers - he’s worked across all levels of the wine industry both in Australia and overseas. Mark loves travelling to wine regions across the world, and has seen some of the more weird and wonderful wine regions this planet has to offer, including Franschhoek in South Africa, Tokaji in Hungary, the Wachau in Austria and Yamanashi in Japan (not to mention his full passport from more traditional wine regions). When you meet Mark, you’ll see his passion for wine immediately - he is a self-confessed “wine nerd” and loves learning about wine. In 2008 whilst selling wine in the UK he started studying wine, completing the WSET advanced certificate. In 2012 after returning home to Australia he completed the WSET Diploma, and is currently studying his Masters of Wine. In his free time he loves watching cricket, as well as sending down some left-arm thunderbolts given the chance.
Asked to write a tasting note to describe himself… “the youngest vintage in the Wine Ark collection, still energetic, youthful (and a little bit green), this one has a long future ahead, taking on more elements and nuances with the years. A classic loud and forward Aussie, tempered by strong European winemaking roots. Lean and long with a lot of character and due to its youth can be tart with hard tannins, so needs a bit of time to open up, but worth the patience. Goes best with: a long weekend and a game of cricket.
Head Keeper of the Bottles
John began his wine expedition some 20 years ago working in wine retail as a means to pay back his father after spending “a bit of time” in San Diego playing beach volleyball after completing a Bachelor of Science at UNSW. He fell in love with wine and hasn’t looked back since. John has developed a detailed understanding of the industry from a multitude of angles. Early in his career, John managed fine wine retail stores and worked with industry heavy weights James Halliday and the late Len Evans. John has been with Wine Ark now for over 10 years and drives the Wine Ark brand and storage business, leading across strategy, operations, marketing and partnerships.
When John isn’t looking after the team that look after your wines, you can find him on a bike, reading about bikes, looking at bikes or talking about bikes. John is a foundation member and organiser of the Wine Peloton Charity group and when asked for his crowning glory on the steed it was the recent 600km plus Trans Alp Mountain Bike Race from Bavaria across the Alps into Austria, peaking over the Dolomites into Italy…
Asked to write a tasting note to describe himself… “The flag ship of the Wine Ark stable, who in its youth displayed boisterous frivolity and unbridled dedication. Now just coming into its straps; mellowing with age, yet lean as old iron bark fence post. A complex character with robust flavours always contributing more. Goes well matched with a good pinch of sarcasm and dry wit”