Prior to his retirement from the corporate world in December 2000, Ian was Managing Director of Marketforce, Perth's largest advertising and marketing agency. His retirement signalled an end to a career in sales and marketing spanning some 35 years. Patricia, prior to the arrival of their son Matthew in 1997 worked in radio sales at 94.5FM and had also worked in the advertising and media industry for almost 20 years. Enjoying a passion for good wine they had made many visits to the Margaret River wine region over the years and their love of the area grew as they travelled from Perth numerous times during their wedding preparations in 1996 when they were married at the historical St. Mary's Anglican Church in Cowaramup. This is when the idea of buying a property "down south" became more than just a passing thought.
The purchase of the 42 hectare Treeton Road property was finalised in December 1997 (the very same week their son Matthew was born) and in 1998 the first vines - Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc - were planted. Tassell Park's red varieties - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz and Petit Verdot - were planted progressively from 1998 to 2001. During this time Ian, Patricia and baby Matthew were still living in Perth and spent their spare time on the property establishing the 6.85 hectare vineyard with the help of local consultants and vineyard workers. In January 2001 they relocated permanently to Cowaramup to embark on the challenge of their first vintage and a new career in the grape growing and wine making industry
The launch of the Tassell Park Wines label in 2001 was closely followed by the construction of the existing winery and cellar door building. The cellar door tasting area opened to the public at Easter 2002 with just three white wines available for tasting. Recognising the importance of utilising the services of professional and qualified people in order to achieve the exacting standards required to produce premium quality wines.
Tassell Park Wines employ an experienced and qualified Consultant Winemaker and Vineyard Consultant with a full time worker in the vineyard applying the same consistent standards to premium grape production. White wines have been produced onsite since vintage 2004 and the reds since vintage 2003. Earlier vintages were produced at neighbouring boutique winery Brookwood Estate and at contract Margaret River winery Flying Fish Cove.
From the three humble white wines that opened their cellar door back in 2002 they have now produced 12 exceptional and distinct varieties. The original premium "Tassell Park Wines" label with its distinctive series of hand-illustrated images artistically expressed in a colourful montage, has now been complemented with the addition of a reserve range of wines bottled under the impressive "Private Bin" label. This label was launched with the very first crop of Petit Verdot in 2004. The popular "Simply" label for their sweetest wines completes the appeal of Tassell Park wines for all ages and individual palates. As a result of a growing demand, a "port" style wine a Tawny Liqueur was bottled in September 2009.
Though Tassell Park Wines is still a relative newcomer to the Margaret River region, they have achieved outstanding success in less than 10 years of premium wine production. Their wines have won trophies and numerous gold, silver and bronze medals at national and regional wine shows and regularly receive high praise from local and national wine media. Tassell Park's Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc Semillon have been recognised as two of the best in the Margaret River region. In November 2009 they were awarded the double honour of trophies for the Best Estate Grown White and Red at the Western Australian Wine Industry Awards. A major achievement as they were the first winery to win both categories at this prestigious event. More information can be found at "Our Awards".
Though their retirement hobby now sees Ian and Patricia working harder than ever, their passion for enjoying good wine has now developed into a passion and enjoyment in seeing people enjoy their wines across a myriad of lifestyles. As Patricia often says: There is no greater reward than to know that someone somewhere is probably enjoying a Tassell Park wine right now!