Mark Jenke is as well known around the Barossa for his grape growing prowess, as he is for his genuine, down-to-earth and likeable nature.
Mark’s always ready with a story or fact, as well as a hearty chuckle.
But, after spending all of his life on his family’s blocks, he’s also no stranger to hard work.
Mark literally grew up amongst the vines
He started life in the cot on the back of the ute, then when he was out of the cot it was into the dirt!
Spending time alongside his parents, Mark watched them toil in the rows of vines, and would play in the vineyard rows.
As Mark reflects, “Back then, my parents did everything manually. I have vivid memories of my mum tying down the vines and pruning by hand. They used to spend the full three months of Winter pruning, and then help others. There’s been a huge change in technology, but I feel blessed to have grown up in the era I did to know the old ways and the new.“
A new era beckons
As well as a lifetime of grape growing knowledge, Mark brings with him more than 12 years of experience working in the cellars at Orlando Wines.
And now, Mark has the opportunity to nurture the grapes from vine to barrel.
The whole winemaking process happens on-site under the guidance of renowned Barossa winemaker, Rod Chapman.
In this new era for Jenke Vineyards, Mark’s role has shifted into Business Manager, overseeing the grape growing, cellar hand, winemaking, exports and sales.
But he loves the fact he can still be hands-on throughout each stage, and that every day is different.
And quite simply, he wouldn’t be anywhere else. Because it’s what he knows and loves.
Mark is excited about what the future will bring. “We’re still making great wine, but we’re also doing it differently to those who came before us. In 2019 and beyond, we’re taking a fresh approach and we’re open to new opportunities.”