ABOUT US

VIGNERONS

Steels Gate Wines Co-Directors/Owners and Vignerons (grow their own fruit and make the wine themselves) Matthew Davis and Brad Atkins have over 15 years leadership and management experience in the wine industry.

Matthew, with Brads support over key times throughout the year,  is responsible for the viticulture across the two ‘blocks’ that make up Steels Gate Wine estates. Conversely, Brad is responsible for the Steels Gate Restaurant and Cellar Door located at their Dixons Creek vineyard, with Matthew on standby to support as needed. The two partners then come together in the winery throughout the year to make the Steels Gate Wines.

Steels Gate Wines maintains a focus on strengthening environmental sustainability across all facets from vine to final wine production. Both vineyards have been converted to dry-grown with a “minimal intervention” approach being taken, which includes majority organic fungicide spraying and no use of herbicides or pesticides . Matthew’s research into alternative measures to combat under vine weed growth and suppression have led to a transformational change in the way both blocks are maintained. In addition to organic fertilising, green manure crops have been planted to naturally bring essential minerals to their vines.

Matthew abd Brad. Owners and winemakers of Steels Gate Wines
Brad Atkins. Winemaker Steels Gate

Matthew and Brad both come from a corporate background, with Matthew completing a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering and Brad a Bachelor of Science. Matthew has over 20 years’ experience in automotive design, engineering and manufacturing, with 11 of those years as an executive with General Motors. His career has seen him work in the USA, South Korea and Australia. Brad commenced his working career in the genetics department at Melbourne University with his career primarily focused in the areas of Program Management and Management Consulting across multiple industries.

While living in the USA, the couple purchased their first vineyard in Steels Creek, at which point they had their wine made under contract. After a seven and a half year stint overseas, they returned to Australia at the start of 2015 with their four year old son Sebastian, and started to set up their own winery. 2016 saw the two release the first wine made themselves under close instruction from their previous winemaker.

Steels Gate was not their first introduction to the wine industry, in 2004 they established a retail and wholesale wine business in Chapel St, Windsor. Brad left his corporate position at this time to run the business, which they subsequently sold in 2006 when they suspected Matthew would be sent overseas with his corporate job.

Steels Gate Wine bottle opening

Steels Gate Home Block Vineyard is situated at 230m above sea level and was planted in the late 1970’s on an undulating slope on friable grey loam soils. 

Purchased in 2009 by Matthew and Brad, this site was overrun by blackberries and the vines were in need of some significant nurturing. Having previously been used in award winning wines, the challenge was set to return the vines once again to their former glory. It is at this site that the Steels Gate winery is located.

THE WINERY

Steels Gate Home Block vines

Steels Gate Home Block Vineyard is situated at 230m above sea level and was planted in the late 1970’s on an undulating slope on friable grey loam soils. 

Purchased in 2009 by Matthew and Brad, this site was overrun by blackberries and the vines were in need of some significant nurturing. Having previously been used in award winning wines, the challenge was set to return the vines once again to their former glory. It is at this site that the Steels Gate winery is located.

The block which is surrounded by King Lake National park consists of 50:50 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vines and is completely un-irrigated and hand nurtured. 

In 2017, Matthew and Brad decided they needed to expand their business and get out of the corporate world. After investigating all alternatives, the two of them discovered an amazing vineyard with restaurant and cellar door for sale in Dixons Creek, which they acquired in early 2018. This new purchase tripled the size of their estate and in addition to adding more Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, it diversified their estate offerings with Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, plus a small amount of Cabernet Franc and Merlot vines (now used in their single barrel range).

Expecting to run a cellar door with “cafe” type food, Matthew and Brad suddenly found themselves as restaurateurs for the first time ever as demand for top quality food was constant – with the restaurant recognised as a 4.7 out of 5 star establishment on Google and 5 out of 5 on Facebook.

Steels Gate Cellar Door, Dixons Creek, Victoria

LEARN MORE

Steels Gate on Pivot Pod
Brad Atkins path to passion was a journey. From leaving the suit behind taking the skills he had and channeling them into his passion he and his partner Matt have created a sustainable vineyard delivering a destination and experience of food and wine. Steels Gate is the culmination of using his head and his heart. Through all the challenges he took the time to pause, reflect and make sure this is what he and his partner yearned for their family.

SEBASTIAN ATKINS-DAVIS

Sebastian has a lot of interests including Lego, Karate, iPad games and watching YouTube videos. From a schooling perspective Sebastian loves Maths, Science and Technology and since returning to Australia in 2014 has shown great interest in anything around these subjects, including the vineyard and wine making. Following his Dad’s work in the vineyard, winery and cellar door / restaurant, Sebastian decided at the age of 8 to make his own wine. In early 2019 his interest to make a wine was sparked when he was helping clean barrels and asked “what can I make?”. With some small amounts of different varieties on the Steels Gate, Dixons Creek vineyard, Sebastian chose to make a Merlot (nicknamed “Smerlot”). Having spent a good couple of years in bottle, Sebastian is now preparing to launch his brand “Atkins-Davis” and release his 2019 Merlot

Sam (or Panda as affectionately known as by his loving family) is head chef at Steels Gate wines. His philosophy around food is to draw on his local, international and cultural experience. Sam loves to play with different ingredients especially herbs and spices to create amazing different flavours. On top of this, Sam’s approach is to use all fresh ingredients, much of which is grown onsite in the Steels Gate Chefs Garden, which Sam and his Comis Chef Lisa plant out to reflect seasonal dishes. As a result, the menus at Steels Gate Wines are always fantastic and multicultural.

Prior to moving to Australia, Sam completed a bachelor’s in hospitality management in India. Since living in Australia, he has completed a certificate III in patisserie, certificate IV in commercial cookery, as well as a diploma in hospitality management.

Sam has lived in the Yarra Valley for the past 10 years with his previous experience including Hargreaves Hill, Levantine Hill and Yering Station.

REVIEWS

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