Our Family

Saddlers Creek Squiggle

Saddler’s Creek Wines is proudly owned by the Laureti Family: 
Frank & Wendy and brother Serge.

These Are The People
with heart & soul who Make Up The Saddler’s Creek Team

The Laureti brothers; spearheaded by their parents; Alessandro and Maria who migrated from Italy in the 1950s, establishing the Laureti way of life; work hard, enjoy time with family and friends, good food and great wine. Wine has long been part of their family culture, even as children there was never a meal without a glass of wine.

The same culture is inherent in the close-knit team at Saddler’s Creek Wines who are devoted to giving you an exceptional wine experience. They share a strong loyalty to the Saddler’s home, the brand, the clubs and the commitment to crafting unique wines.

“I hope you come to know them as I have over the past few years. Behind the job titles,  management and details of their roles these are real people with heart, who go out of their way, every day, to do what they do with conviction, pride and love.”

WENDY LAURETI 

“Bottle fed” since a young age, I grew up on my family’s vineyard here in Pokolbin. Childhood weekends were spent in the vineyard with 4.30am starts during vintage time.  After school I was busy cleaning the buckets and tractor ready to do it all again the next day. 

I completed a degree in Construction Management but, after working as a vintage cellar-hand at Bimbadgen Estate and Brokenwood, I realised I’d been bitten by the wine-industry-bug. I moved to Adelaide to study a Masters of Oenology (winemaking) at Adelaide University.

While there I worked for Penfold’s Magill Estate Cellar Door.  I got to know both Phil and Scott – 13 years later we’re still working together. In 2011 I joined the Saddler’s Creek team as Assistant Winemaker / Warehouse manager, becoming Head Winemaker in 2013.

Working for a small business like Saddler’s Creek is certainly a lot of fun (never boring) working with such a passionate group of colleagues/friends.

We strive to make fantastic wine and share it with others who enjoy the finer things in life. And we take the opportunity to form fantastic friendships with people who are not ‘just customers’.

Favourite Wine?

2015 Alessandro Reserve Shiraz

After retiring as Chief Winemaker and General Manager of McWIlliam’s Mount Pleasant wines, I joined the Saddler’s Creek team as a consultant winemaker in 2012. I’ve had a long friendship with the Saddler’s Creek Winery family and I know its wines and wine-making style well.

I also produce my own stable of wines under the Saddler’s Creek banner: the Ryan’s Reserve collection. These wines have been well-received and have received many accolades. All our wines are under the stewardship of Saddler’s Creek winemaker, Brett Woodward with whom I work closely.

I’ve been part of the local wine industry for more than 50 years, starting in lab management and quality control before a career as a winemaker. It’ s a privilege to serve on the Australian Wine Selectors Tasting Panel and to judge many of Australia’s most prestigious wine shows.

A Living Legend

Phil won’t tell you this but, in 2006, he received the NSW State Government Graham Gregory Award for outstanding contributions to the NSW wine industry. Then, in 2009, he was honoured by his Hunter Valley Wine Industry peers as a  “Hunter Valley Living Legend”.

Read more in this 2015 Newcastle Herald article marking 50 years of Phil’s career in the Hunter Valley wine industry.

Monthly trips to the Hunter Valley growing up may have had a significant influence on my future. I can still remember the day when I was 8 years old looking over the Calais Estate Vineyard and thought to myself “I want to live like this one day”.After working as a winemakers assistant at The Charles Sturt Uni Boutique and Research winery, I discovered that simply drinking wine wouldn’t be enough. After completing my Bachelor of Agriculture Science, I immediately jumped into studying a Bachelor of Wine Science.

I made the move to Lerida Estate in Canberra and then First Creek in the Hunter Valley before finding my way to Saddlers Creek, my new home away from home

Amelia

 

Favourite Wine?

Ryan’s Reserve ‘Vanessa’ Shiraz

If you’re wondering, yes I am the Vanessa of the Ryan’s Reserve Vanessa’s Vineyard Shiraz. 

My dad, Phil Ryan, was employed as the Winemaker/Manager to McWilliam’s Mt Pleasant for 48 years, so it was hard for me to not be involved in the Wine Industry.

We planted our family vineyard in 1988, with Chardonnay, Shiraz and Merlot. I’m still involved in the Ryan Estate Vineyard as we provide grapes to Saddler’s Creek for the Ryan’s Reserve and Saddler’s Creek ranges.

In 1998, I joined Saddler’s Creek Wines, working in the Cellar Door, Administration and Laboratory and now work in Administration and Accounts.

For more than 20 years, Saddler’s has been a major part of my life and family, working alongside my Dad and colleagues that have become great friends. 

Favourite wine? 

I love, love, love all wine but favourites are Ryan’s Reserve Chardonnay, Saddler’s Rosé and Ryan’s Reserve Shiraz!! 

Born in the Hunter Valley, I grew up on the land. My work and my two children are major parts of my life.

I joined Saddler’s Creek in 2014 with a background in hospitality but not much wine knowledge. It sure has been a lot of fun learning along the way!

I love looking after all of our fantastic Club Equus and Club Polo members.  

We are a very big family with a shared love for amazing wine.

SCW is a true boutique winery producing small, select quantities. We are a small team but, like our wines, we have a lot to offer. And we have big hearts..

 Saddler’s Creek team wouldn’t be complete without our four legged members.

Ned is Hannah’s fur child who is a 2 year old, Border Collie cross Blue Healer. He is often on the lawn ready to greet you on arrival and enjoys a pat. We think he sneaks a few treats with his good looks.

Fred is Vanessa’s fur baby who is a 7 months old, Jack Russell. Fred loves to run, play and is always happy to see visitors.

Honey is Deborah’s fur baby and is a 5 month old Border Collie.  She loves having a smooch and belly rubs!

We are a small team at the Saddler’s Creek Cellar Door. With Scott, Cathy,  Hannah, Sharilyn, Jan, Amelia, Chloe you will find a familiar face with each return visit.

We love the smile on a customer’s face when they taste and fall in love with our wines.

Our aim is to provide visitors with a fun yet informative tasting in a relaxed atmosphere. 

We look forward to seeing you soon!

I have worked in the Hunter Valley Wine Industry for 15 years and I just love this community. My passion is wine and food matching, event planning, being behind the camera documenting our wine journey from vineyard to the glass and I love getting to know our Club Equus Members!

Wine is a fun industry to work in and definitely my favourite part of the job is  providing wine and food experiences for our customers and members..

I also love travelling to other wine regions around the world. My next trip will be to the old world wine regions of Hungary.

In 2007 I joined Saddler’s Creek Wines’ Club Equus after being introduced to Bluegrass Cabernet Sauvignon by another member. That wine has never failed to impress people with whom I share it.

We purchased Saddler’s Creek Wines in February 2015 – committing to an amazing team, a growing business, an inspirational winery. This is also the perfect way to ensure we never run out of wine.

I am so certain of Saddler’s Creek Wines that, if you ever purchase a bottle and don’t like it, I will personally come around to your house and drink it in front of you.

Favourite wine?
Bluegrass Cabernet Sauvignon, with meals
Reserve Chardonnay, when thirsty
Bluegrass Shiraz, dinner with friends
Bluegrass Sparkling Cabernet, whenever

After completing my Psychology Degree, I met Frank who was my first assignment! I thought I could save him and I’m still working on it 25 years later! Forever the optimist.

Frank and I have four fabulous children – girls Alex and Emma and boys Stephen and Christopher. We’ve also built businesses with a community of over 35 people, who I can honestly say are like an extended family to me.  

Becoming part of Saddler’s has been an amazing journey.  I am blessed to be working with such a fantastic , passionate driven team and I alway have great wine in my cellar to enjoy. Life is great!

Favourite Wine? 

Saddler’s Semillon is my go to everyday wine. While the Ryans’ Reserve Chardonnay,  I serve at specials dinners with friends.

With the cooler months, the Bluegrass Cabernet is for when I don’t want to share with anyone…Maybe Frank.

After 35 years as a principal in various accounting firms and 10 years at the ATO, I specialised in business advisory, management, corporate structuring and taxation. As a licensed Financial Planner and a Chartered Tax Advisor, I was tasked with managing a winery for a client.

As a result, when Saddler’s became available for sale I was very comfortable to go into it with my brother Frank and sister-in-law Wendy. 

Not only was Saddler’s a highly reputable business, but the wines are excellent. Saddler’s Creek is a prize that everyone is proud to be associated with.

Favourite wine?  
Bluegrass Sparkling Cabernet

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