Born and raised west of Sydney, Australia in the beautiful Blue Mountains, he only found his passion for wine while living and working on a Whitsunday Island in the Great Barrier Reef after graduating High School.
Tristen’s interest in winemaking was sparked when someone informed him that cherries, soil, pepper and other wine scents were not added in like a recipe, and in fact that wine is solely grapes and the way it is crafted, soils and grape varietals all dictate the final outcome of wine.
A short time after, he left the picture perfect Great Barrier Reef and relocated to the colder, wetter and more up-tempo city of Melbourne where he worked and studied the art of and completed his major in viticulture and oenology.
After the completion of his degree, the travel bug bit him and Tristen ventured overseas spending time in the scenic Okanagan Valley in British Columbia gaining an understanding of cold climate viticulture and then Sonoma, CA. Tristen was considering heading home after many years abroad, until he met, and subsequently married, his Georgia Peach and relocated permanently to Atlanta in 2010.
Tristen spent his first year in Atlanta with Season’s 52 Wine Bar & Restaurant gaining a better and more complete understanding of the retail side of wine. This he believes has fast forwarded his winemaking understanding and refined his pallet for tasting. “To be a great winemaker, you must be able to understand and foresee what you are trying to achieve first. This way you can plan ahead and know what style of wine to make with the fruit that is in front of you”.
However, as fun as the hospitality industry is, Tristen’s passion gained the better of him and the need to get his hands dirty once again. Tristen joined Tiger Mountain Vineyards in 2012/2013 as their assistant winemaker and winery manager where he gained a great understanding of how tough the season’s are, stating “if you can master viticulture and produce quality award winning wines here in the south, you can do it anywhere in the world. This is a harsh grape growing environment where every year is drastically different from the previous. However that is also the beauty of it, as every year is reflected in the wines individuality”
Tristen’s winemaking beliefs follow true to the old saying that “the truth is in the vineyard, but the proof is in the glass!”