Hey! You're new.

Fancy a drink?

Press Enter to submit
Packs About
Get Involved
Press Enter to submit

20Q: Tim Shand, Punt Road

News that Punt Road winemaker Tim Shand pretty much won everything but a Jimmy Watson Trophy at this year’s Royal Melbourne Wine Awards won’t come as any great surprise to those in the know. Shand has worked tirelessly over the past decade, honing his craft at the likes of McWilliams and Giant Steps.

Days after this year’s RMWA success, we caught up with Tim to chat everything from the changing face of the Yarra Valley to the healing properties of the corner booth at The European in Melbourne.


1. What do you do for a living?

I am the winemaker at Punt Road, a 150-acre vineyard near Coldstream in the Yarra Valley. I dabble in cider making when absolutely necessary (although we have a perfectly functioning cider maker, who both looks and acts the part).

2. What got you started in wine?

Getting kicked out of an Arts degree in 2002, moving to Margaret River and realising that I could enjoy myself and be a contributing member of society at the same time!

3. Tell us about the 2016 Punt Road Gamay. What should we be eating with it?

Honestly, whatever you’d like to eat with it! In the Yarra, we are increasingly making reds that hold back on the tannin and body. They are savoury and supple. This allows them to be the wingman to a variety of tapas/snack foods, or they can be lightly chilled and enjoyed solo.

4. You’ve just cleaned up at the Royal Melbourne Wine Award – including the Trevor Mast trophy – how does that feel?

It feels like the culmination of a lot of hard work by a lot of people. The guys in the vineyard and the cellar, and the people in the restaurants, wine shops and wine bars that have seen what we are producing and backed us all the way. For that high-calibre judging panel to look at 800 Shirazes and put a trophy on ours, we must be doing something right.

5. What skill do you possess that nobody knows you have?

I cannot fall asleep by accident. I can only deliberately fall asleep. I would make an excellent long-haul trucker.

6. What would you tell 10-year-old Tim Shand?

You will not be the Australian Test wicketkeeper. And learning French is not as pointless as it seems. 

7. Do you have a nickname?

Shandy to my friends. Hand-shandy to my frenemies.

8. The biggest myth surrounding wine is…

Quality is reflected by price. 

9. Where’s your favourite place to eat?

Corner booth at The European.

10. What’s your favourite sound?

My arse hitting the cushion on the corner booth at the European.

11. The most underrated grape variety on the planet is…


12. Where do you find inspiration?

People reaching into their pockets and buying what we make. Then buying it again.

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

My wife would take about 30 seconds to handball me the kids before running out the door.

14. What would your superpower be?

I reckon the sleeping thing is pretty super.

15. What song do you never want to hear in the winery again?

Not for me, but for the cellar hands. I like to start every workday with ‘The Circle of Life’ from the Lion King. I’m happy to sing it live, or pipe it through the winery speakers. Safe to say, it can wear thin. 

16. What’s so special about Australian wine now?

We are concurrently tapping into 150 years of winemaking history, whilst engaging the evolving tastes of our drinking public by pushing the envelope harder than ever.

17. Whose wines should we be checking out?

Stargazer. Wanderer. Bellwether. Wines by KT. Arfion. Collector. Two Tonne Tasmania. Winemakers who did their time at big wineries, learned what true quality was, then threw off the yoke and now make exciting, authentic wines. 

18. The best way to spend a Sunday is…

If I get to watch Insiders and Offsiders back to back then a modern miracle has occurred.

19. Got any guilty pleasures?

Morning smoko has to involve at least two different kinds of sugar, one chocolate based. Usually Double Coat Tim Tams.

20. Beastie Boys or Yeastie Boys?

They are both pretentious, over-rated has-beens who I love equally.