Leigh Clarnette has been making wine for just short of 40 years now, having started in the Yarra Valley as the first qualified winemaker there in 1984.
For the last 27 years he has been based in the Grampians & Pyrenees.
Seppelt beckoned him in 1993 a dream which Leigh had since a teenager, all that history of Great Western... Tradition of vineyards and winemaking process teaches you how each parcel speaks of its own virtue. Seppelt makes so many great wines St. Peter’s Shiraz, Drumborg Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling. A host of sparkling wines from cool climate Victoria and Tasmania going into their Salinger. Some of Seppelt's great Victorian wines are the equivalent in status to Penfolds and other great brands.
A stint at Taltarni in the Pyrenees in 2003-2006 as Chief Winemaker allowed Leigh to oversee a revolution in their approach to bringing back the great reputation both in Red and Sparkling wines. The 2004 Cabernet Merlot took out best Red in London for Decanter under 10 pounds. Today the Shiraz has taken over the Cabernet in reputation, but the Cabernet will always king of the Pyrenees to Leigh. Taltarni was also about a small brand called Clover Hill from Tasmania which today has continued to build its reputation of fine method traditional sparkling wine.
A change of direction in 2006 to small scale winemaking at Montara in Ararat rewarding. Today it is a 5 stars Halliday winery featuring, Shiraz, Cabernet and Pinot Noir along with Riesling.
Finally, in 2017 Leigh decided to concentrate on his passion of Clarnette and Ludvigsen which he started with Kym in 2007. Today Clarnette & Ludvigsen is a Grampians based wine company from the Ludvigsen vineyard featuring Shiraz, Chardonnay and Riesling with Tempranillo recently added along with a Rose and Viognier. Winemaking has always been about preserving fruit and making the wines generous to enjoy. The Ludvigsen vineyard expresses a certain spirit or true typicity of character in the wines.
Clarnette & Ludvigsen have been lucky over the years with accolades, the 2009 won best Shiraz and Best Red wine of Show in 2012 at the Federation Square Wine Awards. Then just last year their 2017 Reserve won the same Trophies at the 2019 Victorian Wine Show.Today Clarnette & Ludvigsen is about a spirit of place here in the Grampians, it’s a journey, its what we do best.