Tales From The Top

A lifetime of fine wine with master winemaker Chris Hatcher

December 21, 2021 Kyron Audio & Deverson Design Season 1 Episode 2
Tales From The Top
A lifetime of fine wine with master winemaker Chris Hatcher
Show Notes Transcript

In today’s show, we are joined by master winemaker Chris Hatcher.  After 35 years with Wolf Blass creating some of Australia's most successful wines, he is now a highly respected international wine show judge,  recipient of countless trophies and the creator of more than 200 gold medal-winning wines. 

Being a winemaker isn’t just about wine tastings and prestigious events, it's science and hard work!



Beringer Blass Chief Winemaker, Chris Hatcher came to the ultimate winemaking position at one of the world's great wineries in 1996 with impeccable credentials. He is generally considered to be one of Australia's premium white winemakers and one of the country's most respected wine show judges.

At Wolf Blass between 1988 and 1995, Chris made 39 trophy-winning wines and 218 gold medallists. “Hatch” has the rare distinction of having been a senior judge at all capital city wine shows where exhibitors are permitted to judge.

After stints at Orlando and Kaiser Stuhl in the Barossa Valley and the Simi Winery in California, Chris joined Beringer Blass (then Wolf Blass Wines) in December 1987. For almost 10 years prior to becoming Chief Winemaker, Chris was the Senior Winemaker responsible for white wine and sparkling wine production at Wolf Blass in the Barossa Valley.

Since his appointment to the top job in 1996 the wines made at every outpost of the Beringer Blass empire have improved in quality. Chris is known to be a fastidious man with obsessive attention to detail, which has filtered to every winemaker working for him today and in the past. 


Today’s episode is sponsored by Kyron Audio and Deverson Design.

At Kyron, we enrich people’s lives with music systems that create lifelike three-dimensional images, that evoke real emotional responses and allow true connection to recorded music.

With our strategic partners, we can help you create the ultimate environment to enjoy your Kyron Music System. From interior design guidance through to an entire bespoke listening room - we can assist you to bring your dream to life.

“Life is better with Music and Music is better with Kyron”


Deverson Design creates garage environments for the discerning automotive collector. 

Preserving your collection in surroundings that are more gallery than garage and so enhancing the value of your enjoyment.

With projects across Australia and Europe, Deverson Design provides design services worldwide.

Truly bespoke garages start with inspiring designs, 

Let Deverson Design inspire you.

To get in touch with one of our principals directly, visit our websites kyronaudio.com.au or deversondesign.com.au to book a consultation.

And we will be back next week with another episode to discover more, - Tales from the Top.


Thanks for listening to the show, if you would like to find out more about Kyron Audio or Deverson Design and how we can create bespoke Luxury environments and experiences in your life, you’re more than welcome to book a call with our principals through our websites, kyronaudio.com.au or deversondesign.com.au or follow us on our socials, links are in the description.

And we will be back next week with another episode to discover more, - Tales from the Top.

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Lee Gray  0:01  

Welcome to Tales from the top. So many striving for success, but how do you define it? What's it really like and what happens when you get there? Join me Lee Gray co-founder of Kyron Audio creators of ultimate home Music Systems, and my co-host Jay diversity founder of diverse and design creators of unique luxury environments. As we celebrate the lives and achievements of those who have dared to dream big and have reached incredible heights. We delve into what drives them now, the challenges that they face, and discuss the unexpected Tales from the Top. On today's show we're joined by Chris Hatcher, a master winemaker who's considered to be one of Australia's finest. After 35 years with Wolf Blass, he is now a highly respected international wine show judge and the recipient of numerous trophies, and creator of more than 200 gold medal winning wines.


Jayde Deverson   0:49  

We'll be talking to Chris about his career, the challenges he's faced in that career and how it shaped his life. Today's episode is sponsored by us; Kyron audio and Deverson Design.


Lee Gray  1:00  

At Kyron, we enrich people's lives with music systems that create lifelike three-dimensional images that evoke real emotional responses and allow true connection to recorded music. With our strategic partners, we can help you create the ultimate environment to enjoy your Kyron music system. From interior design guidance through to an entire bespoke listening room. We can assist you to bring your dream to life. Life is better with music and music is better with Chiron.


Jayde Deverson   1:25  

Deverson Design creates luxury garage environments for the discerning automotive collector, preserving your collection in surrounding such a more gallery than garage, and so enhancing the value of your enjoyment. With projects across Australia and Europe, Davison design provides design services worldwide, truly bespoke garages start with inspiring designs. Let Deverson Design inspire you.


Lee Gray  1:47  

To get in touch with one of our principals directly visit our website kyronaudio.com.au, or deverson design.com.au to book a consultation.


Jayde Deverson   1:56  

And now on with the show. Beringer Blass chief winemaker Chris Hatcher came to the ultimate winemaking position at one of the world's great wineries in 96. With impeccable credentials, he is generally considered to be one of Australia's premium white wine makers, and one of the country's most respected wine show judges At Wolf Blass between 88 and 95, Chris made 39 trophy winning wines and 218 gold medals. After stints at Orlando and Kaiserstuhl in the Barossa Valley and the Simi Winery in California, Chris joined Beringer Blass then Wolf Blass wines in December 1987. Since His appointment to the top job in 96, the wines made at every outpost of the Beringer Blass Empire have improved in quality. Chris is known to be a fastidious man with an obsessive attention to detail, which is filled to do every wine maker working for him today and in the past. Hello, Chris, thank you for joining us.


Chris Hatcher  2:51  

Hi, Jayde and Lee, great to be here and great to talk about things of luxury.


Jayde Deverson   2:57  

Yes. Great.


Lee Gray  2:58  

Thank you. Thanks for being here.


Jayde Deverson   2:59  

Well, I think the big question is why winemaking and I'm supposed to have never ever been asked that question before.


Chris Hatcher 3:05  

Now it's an actually I have a very, very interesting story. So I grew up in a Methodist family. So Methodist, by nature, are very boring people. They don't drink alcohol, don't dance, don't gamble, all of those things. So I've had an interesting life in the sense that having that Methodist background, I guess, in a lot of ways gave me the work ethic of God and the attention to detail of God. But certainly alcohol wasn't part of my junior life. 


Jayde Deverson  3:36

No far from it.


Chris Hatcher 3:38

However, and my actual my father went through the methods of this ministry, which may have even a stronger connection. But when I was about 16, and 17, like most teenagers, I thought most of the things my parents said probably weren't actually factual, and I'll try them out. So I actually enjoyed wine. Interestingly, so and it was easy to go to parties and buy cheap sparkling wine, which is what I started drinking. And then I decided to do a science degree at university, my backgrounds, microbiology and organic chemistry, started science and ran out of money. And my parents said, Well, bad luck, Chris. But you're going to have to go out and get a job.


Jayde Deverson   4:22  

And so, what year were you there? 


Chris Hatcher  4:26  

In the end I started university in 1970 and took a year off at the end of 1970. And I was lucky enough that I got a job at the Australian wine Research Institute.


Jayde Deverson   4:37  

Now that would have been the time prior to the Labour government bringing in subsidized education, etc.


Chris Hatcher  4:45  

That is correct. It was it was just the start. So it was just the transition from the old Commonwealth scholarships into free universities. Yeah. So I went back, studied work for the one research for a year got a passion for wine I decided to finish my degree and get into the industry. So I did that. And I started doing research and development, and particularly on color extraction in red wine, and decided that I wanted to be winemaker. So I started studying at Wagga, in New South Wales, and they do a correspondence course. And because I already had a science degree, I got most of the subjects given to me anyway, so it was quite easy. So I was lucky. My bosses all left and I was the one left in the in the company. So I did did finish my first vintage 1976 and had huge success in wine competitions, my first year. In fact, in my first wine competition I won best white wine of the year. And I think out of five entries, got four gold medals and a silver so it was a good start.


Jayde Deverson   5:55  

That's a pretty good way to kick start a career. Yeah, that's wonderful.


Chris Hatcher  6:00  

So since then, have not actually ever applied for jobs. So it's all been offered the jobs that I've had been offered to me. And the interesting part of the whole story was that three years after, I'd actually been a winemaker, my mother told me that on her side of the family, my great grandfather was the first wine maker of Penfolds. So, it was in the blood. He started there in the 1870s. And he worked for them for 69 years, and he died five weeks after he finished up with Penfolds. So I would suggest that probably the last 40 of the 65 years that he went in, went to lunch and went home again. But that was probably what the old industry was like. 


Jayde Deverson   6:50  

So your destiny is that you're not necessarily to die five weeks after you finish, but to stay in the industry?


Chris Hatcher 6:56  

Yeah. Yeah, look, I feel extremely fortunate that I get paid for my hobby, which is a very few people can say that. I was talking about professional sportsman, they become professional sportsman, because they're good at sport, they don't start off and say I want to be professional sportsman. So they make a good career out of something that they they're good at and enjoy it. And I feel extremely fortunate in that. Obviously now I'm getting older and I'm starting to see much more the opportunities to mentor with some of the young people and I'm working with Adelaide Uni. So voluntary work. So they've got a wine course that's four years and I work with the third-year students on the fermentation technology and helping them out. Just gives them some insight into the industry, what to expect how to make good wine, and those sorts of things.


Jayde Deverson   7:57  

I'll just interrupt there, going back to the university are you, is the university course what how would you compare the course now to when it was when you started? Because I think that's an interesting point for any young people who want to get into what we're going to do.


Chris Hatcher  8:12  

Oh, it’s completely changed. So when I started, there wasn't a degree as such in winemaking. So there was a place called Roseworthy Agricultural College, which basically taught all sorts of agriculture, including winemaking. And I think it's been going there since the Second World War, just after the Second World War, the wine course started. It was then taken over by Adelaide Uni, I think in the 1980s. So post my time, so I actually did a science degree. And then I did a post grad basically. 


Jayde Deverson  8:49

Yes. At the Wagga course. 


Chris Hatcher  8:51

Yeah, yep. Which a lot of winemakers did at the time. And it was in a changing era of the wine industry, because not in 70s through to the 1980s when Australia really started to export wine. And there was a huge boom in the industry. And, you know, 25 years of age, I had one of those senior jobs in the wine industry. They're looking back on that that's ridiculous, there was just no one else around


Jayde Deverson   9:19  

At the time it just really wasn't. Yeah, well concept of drinking wine at a in a broader context.


Chris Hatcher  9:25  

Yeah, it's interesting, the Australian wine industry from 1969 to 1979. So 20 year period, wine consumption in Australia went from roughly nine litres a head to nearly 20. So there's huge change now culture, food, wine, people going out those sorts of things, you know, dining out where, you know, my era to go out to a restaurant was a big deal you might have got.


Lee Gray  9:49  

Was that was that kind of a maturing of the drinking as well because there's probably a lot of beer drinking prior to that.


Chris Hatcher  9:55  

Absolutely. I think a lot of it had to do with migrants that came to Australia after the Second World War. And they tell us Yeah, Italians, Greeks changed, that they worked hard, got money, they bought a business, and then changed the culture of Australia. And I think that's, that's really the thing that I've been fortunate enough to see is that transition from Old English culture in Australia in the 50s, to a modern age, national culture today of Australia.


Lee Gray  10:30  

And the beautiful foods as well, that they brought with them.


Chris Hatcher  10:33  

Absolutely. It's all part and parcel of good food, good wine, and people that to me, that's a wine experience. It's the three things together.


Lee Gray  10:43  

Yes, that's something you just touched on the wine experience. And it's something that, you know, we talk a lot about it at Kyron. And I've done a fair bit of reading about matching wines with music. Yeah, as well as bringing that into a third dimension is that is that something that you've looked into at all.


Chris Hatcher 11:00  

Well, there's certainly been a lot of talk about it and, and, and a lot of research around sound and environments and tasting and flavours. There's no doubt, the more relaxed you are, the better you can taste. And I think it's the same with consuming at home, the more relaxing and that's why I like wine, I think it’s great, relaxing, it’s something that's going to put you in a good mood, right from the start where I see a lot of other alcohol beverages being more aggressive. Yeah, people tend to get more aggressive on them where wine is, to me, it's about people, though. A lot of wine. And it's about that communication, it's about enjoyment of company, and wine becomes part of the vehicle of those conversations.


Lee Gray  11:53  

Yeah, I mean, from what I've read, as you said, there's been some genuine studies into this, which I think people sometimes don't believe, but it's, you know, there's white papers from universities talking about this. And, you know, some of the, you know, the statistics they're talking about is, you know, 15% improvement or detriment to the taste of the wine, depending on what you're listening to, you know, so not all music is equal, if you're not going to be listening to, you know, heavy death metal. Yeah, it can actually, you know, bring that entire experience down. But I think it's, it's a, it's a very fascinating field. 


Chris Hatcher 12:29  

It is, and, and your senses in general. Vision is also another big impact. So, we do some tastings in black glasses, so you can't see what you're tasting, so it takes that element out of it, and then your olfactory, your nose, becomes really, really important part. So it focuses your senses into one area. I think music's the same thing. I'm not sure how it works, but certainly would maybe turn off some of the outside inputs that you would get normally when you're tasting something.


Lee Gray  13:07  

Yeah, we encourage people to you know, we often quite turn off the lights and you know, give people permission to turn off their phone, and, you know, fall into this, you know, and just give yourself over to this experience in a way we often match wines as well, you know, when we do a listening experience to heighten.


Chris Hatcher  13:28  

Yeah, quite often when I'm tasting, you know, when I'm tasting in a wine show, for instance, and I've got a lineup of 40 or 50 wines, quite often I'll just nose them with my eyes closed, I just go down the line, pick the class, I'll close my eyes and sniffed. So your smell becomes your main focus, and noise, external noise, people talking is the worst thing you can do when you're tasting, because it takes your mind away and so instead of your nose becoming the most important thing you're hearing and listening becomes really important. So being focused is really a key part of that sensory experience.


Lee Gray  14:13  

Music. There's lots of analogies as well, people tend to tie in between, you know, try to describe wines and describe music. I mean, I've spoken to some of the guys at Penfolds and they're they talk about you know, this is the soloist, this is the duo, this is the trio, this is the Quartet. Do you do you find that you lean on other types of analogies, or you use music in the past for describing something that is it's almost intangible in some ways. It's a challenge to describe, isn't it?


Chris Hatcher 14:45  

I think your sensory takes you back to all parts of your life and I think with wine. a lot of your smell is associated to smells you had when you were growing up whether it was cooking or, you know, plants or those sorts of things.


Jayde Deverson   15:03  

My grandfather's tobacco pouch is one of those. That just takes me back. I still have it. Yeah. And it still has that smell of whether it was capstan tobacco, one of those. And it just takes me back to a time that you were talking about that transition from the British colony to an international multiculturalism that we have now and it was that nice transition that i get all warm gooey that it makes me feel like I'm  a boy safe in the Granddad's house again.


Chris Hatcher 15:39  

Exactly. And that's why I think, a lot of wine talk. So a lot of the terms that people use to describe wines, I never use because to me, it's a very personal thing. I can smell things that I remember from my childhood or, or when I was older, that mean nothing to other people. Yeah. And so I think whenever you're tasting, I think you need to think of your own descriptors, things that mean something to you. And that's how you get a hook. Because that hook, you will never forget. And it will take you back there all the time. I think it's quite interesting. Music is exactly the same when you hear music, music from a certain era in your development. It really does take you back to that place. And I think that's a great part of life.


Jayde Deverson   16:34  

So, speaking music, what do you listen to? What? What do you like? Well,


Chris Hatcher 16:39  

I guess I'm a bit of an old time. And so you know, I grew up in the Beatles era. So I still love the Beatles. I love the Rolling Stones. Yeah, uh, you know, I'm quite, I've listened to all types of music. But I guess the other things, you know, cream, all that sort of old-style stuff. Yeah, that was a great era. And I think we were very fortunate to be in that era, that it was the change from a very traditional English background, your older generation. My parents, I think, were very old. When I was a child, where I think today, parents are much more connected to their children, they share a lot of the experiences, they share the music, all of those things. And wine is part of that. It's all part of the experiences of life and connecting with your past and your future.


Jayde Deverson   17:40  

So what then you've probably answered this question to a large extent how, you know, I might ask somebody how their industry has changed their life. But I think your industry is your life. Is that fair to say? What has it done to you other than, how's it been?


Chris Hatcher 18:00  

Oh, look, it's amazing, I think. I could not imagine myself not being with wine in some form. So yeah. And that's what I said earlier, I'm extremely fortunate to get paid for something that I actually enjoy. And so I see now, you're even over the next, hopefully, 20 years if I last 20 years. That's part of what I want to try to put back to the industry is, that connection is quite interesting with the younger people or work for us to be able to, it's amazing how much they respect, but I actually get more out of them than they get out of me in a lot of ways. Because, yes, I think one of the things as you get older, you must have a very open mind about change, about improvement, and not being held back by your success. Because quite often people aren’t prepared to get out of their comfort zone because they've been successful. They don't want to destroy that. But other people, that change will go past them very quickly. And if you don't have an open mind, so I see youth in the industry as a really important part of that evolution. Not necessarily revolution, but evolution. So that combination of youth and age, I think is a really interesting mix if you have the right mindset. And I love sport, and I think best sporting teams have exactly they have youth for enthusiasm and joy, but they also have their powerful coach, the mentor that's been around and the steadying influence. You can't change everything at once. Nothing you actually destroy what you've got. Yes. So yeah.


Jayde Deverson   19:52  

So what's the future then for Australia and wines and especially with what's happening in China? And yeah, That's a that's a worrying thing. But I presume in time that will pass like most things do. What? Where are we going?


Chris Hatcher 20:05  

Look, I know, I used to go to China three times a year. So I spent a lot of time in China. Look, the industry has gone through probably five ups and downs. Since I've been in the industry. It's a boom and bust sort of industry that is agriculture. The one thing that I think the whole China situation has done is forces out of their comfort zone. It was too easy to sell in china. Yes. And and so in a lot of ways, we didn't spend enough time on the other markets because we didn’t need to. Yes, because we didn't need to the one great success about Australia. And I think this applies in all all fields, but certainly in winemaking, but in all fields. I think Australia, we have a great drive to want to prove that we are equal with the rest of the world.


Jayde Deverson   21:02  

Yeah. Want to catch up with their older brothers and sisters. Yes, absolutely.


Chris Hatcher  21:06  

And it doesn't, I don't think we we want to be necessarily better than but we want to be at least equal with. And so Australian wine makers in the 80s spent a huge amount of time on the road, promoting Australian wine around the world and had huge success. And then we became complacent. And then China happened, which made us even more complacent. Now, once COVID finished, whenever it will be. When that's finished, you'll see what Australian winemakers out on the road nonstop because that's what we do. That's what's made us successful. So yeah, look, I think it's great future for the industry. But it's one of those things that you just have to work at it. It's not going to happen by itself.


Jayde Deverson   21:55  

And family.


Chris Hatcher 21:57  

My family? Yes. I've got a daughter and son both in wine industry.


Jayde Deverson   22:03  

I was going to say that was the next thing. What's their involvement? Is that the next generation?


Chris Hatcher 22:09  

Well, my daughter's a marketer and my son's viticulturalist so they've gone in a slightly different fields. But they grew up in the winery with me. So on a Sunday during vintage they used to come in Mike, my kids learned to drive in the winery on a Sunday when they were 12 and fourteen they used to drive round and round and round in the winery willows in the office. You can’t do that anymore because of occupational health and safety


Jayde Deverson   22:38  

And so I can't imagine the coroner's office adressing the 12 year old who ran over four pickers wouldn't be too good.


Chris Hatcher 22:48  

But they used to come in and we’d do a ferment round so we can taste all fermentations in the morning and reset the temperatures on whatever's happening with a ferment whether it needs to be cold or warm, etc. The kids used to come around on a Sunday with me do that and we taste each of the wines and they will smell. And to me that's one thing that is a little sad that that's been lost in the industry because of legislation doesn't allow it to happen. Yes, but the kids grew up loving the wine industry that's part of the life


Jayde Deverson   23:26  

I think the whole connection with anything that you're passionate about, my wife and I are both in design, and our sons are they 19 and 21 and they're both in the creative industry. One is schooling psychology is but he's a passionate filmmaker and my other son is a passionate filmmaker doing film at Flinders. So it's it's about keeping if you are passionate, and you have that good relationship that children's very it's it's almost inevitable that those things are going to wash off that are going to blend in and see your offspring moving in those directions. So obviously that's a key to the passion that you have and and that it's rubbed off on the on the family.


Chris Hatcher 24:18  

The only downside for them is oh, you’re Chris Hatches’ daughter or your Chris Hatches’ son. And, I love my Doula worked in London for 10 years for me an importer. And she's decided no, he's my father. I'm Kate Hatcher. And he's the old man. So they need to find their own space. And we're in a small industry. Let's face it. So yes, it does bring pressure on them. But the upsides and the connections are also something they get a bit of a bonus out of.


Lee Gray  24:56  

Oh, that's great. Now they it's driven, as driven as you?


Chris Hatcher 25:01  

Yeah, I think so. I think probably modern, modern era, this maybe a little somewhat biased, I think modern era, they're not given the opportunities to perhaps drive themselves as much as, as happened with us. I'm a great believer in in our generation was, was a great benefit of the agricultural generation. So my father grew up on a farm during the Depression had to leave the farm as a 15 year old and go work in the city. And he created a whole life outside the farm, that he had the work ethic of a farmer, and farmers, you know, in that era worked extremely hard to get a life. Not so much these days. In the sense of broad acre agriculture, and a lot of machinery and things. But with that work ethic where and when I came into the industry, there were so many opportunities, you basically picked out what you wanted. And in pursuit, there were I think those opportunities probably aren't there for kids now that they do more degrees, and then find it difficult to get the right job. And then they don't get seniority quickly, which was the lucky draw that I had. So I think it's it's different eras. But I think the passion is, is always going to be the asset with the young people work for us. They're still extremely passionate and still extremely driven by wine quality, and they focus on wine quality, which I think is fantastic.


Jayde Deverson   26:39  

Is that partly the industry? I mean, I might suggest that, or would it be true that if you're going to go into wine, it's because you have an interest? Not the same as going into accounting? Where we think well, that I can't think of anything else to do so do accounting. Yeah. And, you know, I apologize to every accountant out there. But it's just it's it's just a parallel. Is that is that the issue is that is that what brings people into why because they're passionate?


Chris Hatcher  27:10  

Oh definitely, it's a difficult industry. So not so much today, because, again, occupational health and safety, but when I started, we used to work 100 days straight. So from the start of vintage, you have to the end vintage, you didn't have a day off. So 100 days straight, we used to get Sunday afternoon off, and most days we would work 12 or 14 hours, minimum. So-


Jayde Deverson   27:35  

It sounds like the design industry.


Chris Hatcher 27:38  

And it was a hard slog, but I loved it, because every decision you made was critical. So it was was like high adrenaline the whole time. Where today it's probably a little more controlled because of legislation is that you can't ask people to do those things. Like I used to work during the day. So maybe from 7am to four in the afternoon drive to Mildura. So it's a four hour drive. Work night there, because we were crashing up there. Get in the car in the morning, drive back into low just about asleep, sleep on the side of the road and the car. Yeah, get back and then go back and do another day.


Jayde Deverson   28:22  

I've mentioned that bureaucracy today that yeah, alarm bells will be ringing everywhere.


Chris Hatcher 28:27  

Oh, I chose to do that. But this is a very funny story. So I won't name the person but he's quite famous in the industry. And he was doing similar things at that time. And he used to bounce a tennis ball off the windscreen of the car to keep himself awake while he was driving along he bounced a bouncy tennis ball. Now when you when you think about that is just absurd.


Lee Gray  28:52  

Yes. I had had a friend doing this I used to drive two hours to work every day. Yeah, he decided live down by the coast and one day he was there seeing how long you'd been balanced a CD on his Head


Chris Hatcher  29:04  

Got to keep yourself interested somehow


Jayde Deverson   29:09  

Speaking about cars, Chris, we have we have a mutual interest. Classic Cars what's been of interest to you? And and why?


Chris Hatcher 29:20  

Well, I've always loved cars in general, and I grew up loving English cars. So my brother had an MG TC when he first started university and he's four years older than me. And for my 15th birthday, my father gave me a 1936 Austin Seven which I saw


Jayde Deverson   29:46  

So was being a chum fun?


Chris Hatcher  29:48  

So I did that up, painted it, learned a bit about mechanics and also learned that it's been of the left to the experts. doesn't try and do it as a young kid. But I've got a passion for Jaguars because I used to go to Sunday school, and my Sunday School teacher had a brand new mark two jag when I was about 12. And I remember as a little lad, looking through the side window, you know, hands on the door, we're looking through a window, and the wooden dash, and the dials and center just blew me away. And it sort of got the absolute passion. And I drive BMWs now, but I've got a mark two Jag, which I've owned for 40 odd years from 1959. And it's actually the 59th one made. So it's quite an interesting car. And I love that car because of the shape but it's also a transition from if you look my brother's mg, TC 1946 59 So 13 years difference, but the technological change in cars from that era from from post world war two to early 50s. So the late 50s and through into the 60s was enourmous


Jayde Deverson   31:19  

I don't think we've seen a transition like that since now. And that was it was the revolution I think in fuel management, and like, yeah, handling all those things and the mat to Jaggu. You know, the it really is the epitome of classic solo and it's upside by, by bank robbers, Ronnie Biggs. Three 3.8 liters to do The Great Train Robbery. Yeah. And fantastic car. So what's just tell me now I know it's under restoration. How far away do you think it is? From?


Chris Hatcher  32:02  

I was supposed to pick it up last Friday. Okay, but I had a little minor problem. So I'm hoping this week. Great. It looks fantastic. Really, really happy with what it looks like. So the color. Yeah, so the start of the project was I it goes back 30 years ago. So like 30 or 40. So I drove it for 10 years, until my wife was going down the main street of Toronto where we live in South Australia, put her foot on the brake and just kept going. And she was lucky enough that she got into the car parked behind the pub and ran into a couple of small things and stopped


Lee Gray  32:47  

like it was thunder.


Chris Hatcher  32:51  

She said to me, I'm never driving it thing again. So at that stage, I decided to take it off the road, which I did yes and disordered, that odd restore. And at that time, I was very traditional. So I was very much in it had to be absolutely 100% As it was, yeah, it was came out of the factory. So then my kids started to get older. And because I had to send them to boarding school, obviously financial situation change. And the JAG took a backseat. So it was basically left untouched for 30 years. So nearly four years ago, four years, this Christmas, I rang out the guy that had the car and said Have you still got my Jag? Wow. And he said yes. And I said, I'll come back. He said, you won't have to pay a little bit for a few things I've done which I did. Yeah, which wasn't anything major. Anyway, I've got it completely redone. But I've done what is called a resto mod. So to all intents and purposes, most people would look at it would say that's an original car. It looks like an original car. I've tried to keep everything as original as possible. But I'll put a lot of modern things that you can't see into it. So it's got electronic door locks, it's got electric power steering. Yes, it's got upgraded suspension. It's got better seats but redone so they look like the original seats, but with a higher back race and head race. Obviously seatbelts upgraded the brakes. So made it a car that I can use every day. So safer.


Jayde Deverson   34:41  

My car handle a bit better stop a bit better. Absolutely. And be abandoned. Comfortable.


Unknown Speaker  34:47  

Yeah, but look at the time, so it has the aesthetics of the original car, but in a modern context. And that's where I've changed personally. Over the journey was I used to be absolutely had to be 100% original. And now it's only used it every day. And I want to use the money that I've made this in. So therefore, almost something that is modern in its handling and safety, yes, but also has the attributes of 1959. So I think it's the best of both worlds. And a mate of mine is very traditional. And he's got Riley's and MGS and Citroens. And he, I said to him, you know, if you bought a, you know, 1850s house, would you have electricity? And most people say, Yeah, we probably would, yes. And would you have a modern stove, and all those things, and we we do that, and even heritage listed houses, that's acceptable. So watching you do it with a cat,


Jayde Deverson   35:50  

I think so I think that's the way that it's, if you have a passion for the aesthetic and the history of something of that vehicle. If you, if it becomes moderately unusable in modern road conditions, then it'll end up staying in the shed. But once you've done it sounds like you you can use it everyday. And, and, and enjoy.


Lee Gray  36:15  

And speaking Sorry, I was gonna say I was speaking to an architect last week, and we were discussing this about mid century modern homes. And you know, there's those purists that, you know, talk about, you know, not changing anything and, and he goes we'll put the practicality is the design of a modern kitchen, you don't want a 450 mil deep bench top, you know, what, you actually want an oven that you could fit something into a cupboard door that actually closes, you know, so, yeah, I think if you want to have a home that's livable, and enjoyed by the entire family, you probably have to make some decisions.


Unknown Speaker  36:47  

And and there are enough museum pieces. If it was a one off, it was the only one in the world or the only, you know, 10 in the world. Different argument. Yeah. But I think if there are enough museum pieces that people are prepared to put away in a shed, my view is I will in sport, inspire more young people. Yes. Seeing it every day than someone that sticks in the garage and takes it out one Sunday. Ricardo


Lee Gray  37:15  

must be such a thrill for you now, though, mean you've had what you know, for decades with this car and finally got to the point to your life where you're, you know, you can reward yourself and have this and we're and what we're days away. Yeah, exactly.


Unknown Speaker  37:27  

And I was really old take great pleasure in my wife driving my street and not coming home and saying I'm not touching the


Jayde Deverson   37:35  

well. So what's the parallel with a wine to the mark to What? What? What's the wine that goes best with the mark to Jagger and what song are you going to put in the UK?


Unknown Speaker  37:49  

Yeah, I haven't thought of that yet. Look, I love champagne. Yes. So obviously, that's part of the whole image of the 50s. Yeah, music I'm not sure about but the champion. I love burgundy too. So but yeah, look, alcohol and driving, you know, it doesn't really make no and and obviously, as an industry, we can't promote that anyway. Absolutely.


Jayde Deverson   38:17  

And that is precisely so at the same year. We're certainly not promoting drinking, driving once you come back and you've had that drive in safe salutes in the garage now. I'm going to celebrate and I'm going to have a x


Unknown Speaker  38:32  

and I think I think there is an analogy can be had about good food, good wine, good music, you know, good luxury goods because we are in the luxury goods business. Absolutely as as cars on the mark two is a luxury. It's not something that that everybody has. So yeah, look at all those sort of luxury things all go together I think is a lifestyle.


Jayde Deverson   38:58  

Great. Well, I think we'd love to come love for you to come back again. Once you've had the car. Yes, at the end of the day this our show is about luxury. It's about success. Lee is all about music. I'm about designing garages for wonderful cars. We'd love to hear your thoughts on the car and how it goes and then perhaps we can ask you about what new song you did listen to why you drank


Unknown Speaker  39:29  

well definitely when I get it the day I get it will definitely be a bottle of good champagne and


Lee Gray  39:36  

I should before before we let you go I just wondering you know what, what drives you now I mean, you've you've had many decades in the in industry. What's What's it that keeps you going for trying to create the next amazing wine?


Unknown Speaker  39:49  

Oh, yeah, that that's an interesting question in since in many, many ways, but most people say I'm a reasonably competitive person. I don't see it but I just want to based. But I think there's two aspects to it. One is, I get a great enjoyment out of the young kids that work in the business, that Michael wine that wins the gold medal or trophy. And I think is just such a great thing to see that and to see their eyes and enjoyment and pride in what they do. So do you feel


Lee Gray  40:26  

so you feel like there's a maturity now where you've, you've kind of gone past looking for your own success? Absolutely. Maybe you may be drawing more from watching. Yeah, and maybe mentoring the youth?


Unknown Speaker  40:37  

Oh, no, no question about it. Yeah, there's that. But also, on a personal level, I think, you know, continually, I talked about improvement and change. And being aware of that, I think, yes, that's a real key thing for me. And obviously, I spend a fair amount of time with the marketing department and trying to educate them, that it's not all about, you know, $10 wine. It's, we are in. To me, there's two paths, the industries, the luxury end. And there's also the fast moving consumable goods, so the everyday wine, but the fun bit of the industry, and the bit that actually the the good profit is in use in Luxury and Premium. And so from my point of view, that's an important part, work with them to make sure that, but also, because I've been heavily involved with Wolf Blass even have worked across all brands within treasury, because I been heavily involved in in wolf place. And Wolf is still alive. And I see it really important to keep him involved in the business, because very few businesses, like our business, that still have their founder. And it's an important part of it. And, you know, he's a, it's a really interesting man, in a lot of ways, similar, in some ways to me, in the lease, Holly driven on quality, and he has a, he doesn't believe there's anything other than first place. Second doesn't exist, no one remembers second per second is the first of those. It's exactly. So, yeah, look, there are a lot of things, but the industry is always changing it. So very dynamic industry. And one of the things we always need to remember is that people at the end of the day drink what we make, and then is giving them the satisfaction of a great thing. So whether it be a $15 bottle of wine or $150 bottle of wine, it's important to deliver quality at the price points. And you know, that to me is a big challenge in in life, too, is making sure that every price point people get value for money.


Lee Gray  43:00  

Well, the great thing about luxury as well is that we're the companies that focus at the pointy end that always filters down. Yeah. Oh, absolutely. You know, to to so that, you know, you might be wanting a $15 bottle of wine, but you're still feeling the benefits of that that investment and that skill when infrastructure has gone into setting up to this $115 bottles. Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, I think the great things, you know, the cheaper products that fall out of these expensive companies is, you know,


Unknown Speaker  43:27  

it was interesting. Well, before your time, I'm surely but there used to be a program on TV called Beyond 2000. And I


Lee Gray  43:34  

remember it, I loved it. And Keller and


Unknown Speaker  43:38  

I did a thing on fashion, fashion houses. So they did seven one hour series on fashion. And it was all about road couture. Yes. And then the last bit was about what's this all about? Because no one buys old couture dresses. And they said it's about selling perfume to particularly American housewives that want to escape the life and live orca tours through a bolo poof, yes. And that to me is whatever we do in the luxury goods business, it needs to have that filter down effect. But you need to maintain the feel, and the branding and the quality for the price. Write down the portfolio. So really key.


Lee Gray  44:29  

Yeah. Wonderful. Thank you so much for joining us. Thank you really appreciate your time. I mean, I loved everything that you said about mentorship. I think you know that that really resonates with me. I've seen seen a lot of that in the in the entrepreneurial scene here in Adelaide, and it's so important and I'm thrilled to hear that you're fostering that. Good. Thanks, guys. All right. Thank you. Okay. It's the listeners. I hope that you enjoyed that as much as we did. Thanks for listening to the show. And if you'd like to find out more About car on audio or give us some design and how we can create bespoke luxury environments and experiences in your life. You're more than welcome to book a call one of our principals through our websites car on audio.com.au or Divison design.com.au or follow us on our socials. Links are in the description. And we will be back next week with another episode to discover more Tales from the top