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20Q: Barnaby Flanders, Garagiste

Welcome to the second offering in our 20Q series, where we chew the fat with our favourite winemakers so you can get to know them that little bit better.

The ever-smiling Barnaby Flanders may well be the happiest man in winemaking. In just under two decades, Flanders has covered a huge amount of ground, with stints at De Bortoli, Métier, Moorooduc Estate and further afield in Italy, California and France – with four vintages in the Northern Rhône Valley at Michel Ogier. No mean feat. Since its conception in 2006, his Mornington-based Garagiste (and more recently Le Stagiaire) label has developed a loyal army of followers, generating deserved industry praise along the way. On Flanders’ wines, James Halliday, in The Australian newspaper, recently stated that ‘All the wines are of exceptional quality.’ We took the time to catch up with the eternally jovial one to throw him 20 questions…


1. What do you do for a living?

Wine tree maintenance officer.

2. Tell us about Garagiste?

Small parcels of Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that are made in a glorified garage.

3. What’s your go-to karaoke song?

‘The Right Time’ by the Hoodoo Gurus.

4. What got you into wine?

Working in Melbourne restaurants and drinking lots of wine.

5. Where in the world has wine taken you?

Italy, the USA and France.

6. You’ve got a Delorean Time Machine for the day. Where are you headed?

1970 VFL Grand Final, Carlton vs. Collingwood.

7. Do you have a nickname?


8. The biggest myth surrounding wine is…

Screwcaps are no good for sealing wine.

9. What’s the difference between good wine and great wine?

The spelling.

10. What’s your knock off drink of choice?

Coopers Pale Ale.

11. If you could breed two totally different animals together, what new animal would you create?

I have no idea what you’d call it, but it would be a cobra’s head on an elephant’s body. How amazing would that be!

12.The next big thing in wine will be…

Australian Wine.

13. But the wine style we should really be drinking more of is…

Whole-bunch fermented red wine.

14. If you weren’t making wine what would you be doing?

I’d be a chippy.

15. What do you collect?

Michael Connelly novels.

16. What’s so special about your neck of the woods?

Three bodies of salt water: Port Phillip Bay, Western Port Bay and Bass Strait.

17. Whose wines should we be checking out?

Luke Lambert’s.

18. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve eaten?

Braised jellyfish.

19. The best way to spend a Sunday morning is…

Crepes, bike ride, Sunday papers, nap.

20. Star wars or Star Trek?

Battlestar Galactica.