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About Paxton Wines & Our Team

Established in 1979, Paxton is a family owned McLaren Vale wine company. Founder and owner, David Paxton is one of Australia’s most highly respected viticulturalists – a reputation built on managing and growing wine grapes of exceptional quality for over 30 years.

The Paxton family have nurtured their own vineyards in McLaren Vale, South Australia, for three decades. Internationally recognised as one of Australia’s leading wine regions, McLaren Vale is renowned for the production of super premium quality wines – particularly red wines.

In 2000, the family released their first wine under the PAXTON label: the 1998 Paxton Shiraz. Today, under the direction and guidance of winemaker Richard Freebairn – Paxton produces a range of estate grown wines under the family label, including Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Rose, Tempranillo, AAA (a Shiraz Grenache blend), MV Shiraz, Quandong Farm Shiraz, Jones Block Shiraz, ‘The Vale’ Cabernet, The Guesser Cabernet Shiraz and the flagship wine, the Paxton EJ Shiraz.

The Paxton wine range is an approachable collection of wines that showcase McLaren Vale’s fruit quality (through Paxton’s superior vineyard sites), natural diversity and varietal expression. In the winery, minimal winemaking intervention ensures the integrity of the fruit from vineyard to bottle.

Paxton vineyards are spread across a diverse number of sites and soil types, which are managed without compromise from planting to harvest. David Paxton continues to strive to minimise inputs and manages the Paxton vineyards biodynamically – a system of farming without the use of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides with a focus on promoting healthy, living soils through the use of natural compost preparations.

In 2005 Paxton opened their cellar door at Landcross Farm, an historic 1860s sheep farm and site of the original village. Managed by David’s second son Ben Paxton, the cellar door is open every day from 10am-5pm for tastings, functions and events. 

Our Team

David Paxton
Owner/Managing Director

Over the last 30 years, David has been growing grapes in McLaren Vale. During this time he has developed and managed vineyards in the Adelaide Hills, Coonawarra, Yarra Valley and regions within Western Australia, while consulting to numerous growers across the country. David’s company Paxton Vineyards today owns approximately 200 acres of premium McLaren Vale vineyards and manages over 500 acres in the region. David’s unfaltering patience in growing quality grapes is offset by a love of fast vintage cars.

Richard Freebairn
Winemaker

Richard joins Paxton from Serafino Wines, where he worked under winemaker Charles Whish and was instrumental in helping Serafino win trophies for their Tempranillo and Grenache plus numerous gold medals across the extensive range.

Richard commenced his winemaking career during the late nineties in Margaret River and worked extensively throughout the Swan Valley and Sonoma Valley before making the move to South Australia in 2003. In the Barossa Valley he worked under industry superstars such as Stuart Blackwell, Tim Smith and Matt Grant, and completed a Bachelor of Oenology at the University of Adelaide, before taking up the role of Assistant Winemaker at Jim Barry Wines in the Clare Valley.

Returning to the Barossa Richard worked as a contract winemaker at Orlando wines and enjoyed a flying winemaker role at Farnese Vini in Italy before accepting the position at Serafino in McLaren Vale.

Ben Paxton
Director of Operations & Logistics

Son of David Paxton, Ben was the founder of Paxton Wines and has managed the wine business since 1998. He plays an integral role in the business overseeing production management, winery and cellar door management, inventory control, logistics and finance. Additionally, he is involved in sales & marketing in several capacities and travels domestically and globally for distributor market visits and trade events.

Brian Lamb
Sales & Marketing Director

Brian is originally from the US and has just under 20 years experience in the wine business in sales & marketing, in both the US and Australia. He handles business development, global export sales, distributor management, digital and direct to consumer sales for Paxton wines. Contact: brian@paxtonvineyards.com (m) +61 448 999 923

Jennifer May
Cellar Door & Function Manager

Born and bred South Australian and having worked in the wine industry for the past 8 years Jennifer is passionate about all things McLaren Vale. Starting her career at 18 years old in Cellar Door at Shingleback Winery, a love affair with the McLaren Vale wine industry was formed. She then found herself at Tapestry Wines where she enjoyed 8 years of service in Cellar Door, Events and Account Management. Jennifer recently found her dream job and new home here at Paxton Wines and is our new Cellar Door/Events manager.

Peter Johnson
South Australia State Sales Manager

Peter Johnson is responsible for the distribution of Paxton Wines in all of South Australia, covering most areas of the state. He has an extensive back ground in the wine and spirits industry with years experience as a publican. (E) peter@paxtonvineyards.com (M) 0439 999 288.

Sarah, Deb & Stacey
The Office Team

Sarah, Debbie and Stacey are the office team, responsible for much of the day to day running of Paxton Wines.

Reviews & Accolades

  • Deep garnet: there is a sappy complexity to the bouquet that is beguiling, with ripe red fruits, well-handled oak, and a hint of jasmine; the palate reveals more toasty oak notes, with fine-grained tannins and velvety texture a feature of the long finish: an elegant expression of the region. 95/100

    2009 Paxton EJ Shiraz
    James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion 2014 Edition
  • A dark and layered bouquet full of black fruits, red fruit highlight, hints of mocha and licorice; the palate is full-blooded, ample and generous, with ripe chewy tannins and fresh acidity lingering on the finish. 94/100

    2010 Paxton Jones Block Shiraz
    James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion, 2014 Edition
  • “The Paxtons of McLaren Vale have been using sustainable farming methods for several years but the 2010 vintage, including this single vineyard chardy, is one of the first wines produced since Paxton earned its stripes as a fully biodynamic producer. Bright and tight with clean citrus and melon fruit flavours, background French oak characters and a crisp finish."

    2010 Paxton Thomas Block Chardonnay
    Kerry Skinner, Illawara Mercury
  • 94pt- Dense purple-crimson, extraordinary for '11, and a triumph for biodynamic grape growing; it keeps its sense of place with a crown of dark chocolate, yet is no more than medium-bodied, the alcohol seeming much lower than 14.5%; spice and pepper lurk under the fine black fruits. Drink By: 2026 Price:$37.00 AU Date Tasted: 17 Feb 2014 Alcohol: 14.5%

    2011 Paxton Jones Block Shiraz
    James Halliday - Published on 27 Jul 2014
  • 94pt- Good depth to the colour; a great advertisement for McLaren Vale and biodynamics, full of varietal fruit flavour, tannins and dark chocolate. Drink By: 2021
    Date Tasted: 01 Sep 2013 Alc: 14% James Halliday - Published on 27 Jul 2014


    2011 Paxton The Vale Cabermet
    James Halliday - Published on 27 Jul 2014
  • 93pt-“Don’t see these wines anymore, so thank heavens I leave the house every now and then to taste stuff. Raspberry, blackberry, chocolate, Jersey Caramel, some cut flower stems and a little bit of reductive stink, though a nice stink it is. Medium bodied, grainy tannin,fresh, shapely, fruit richness but not confected. Even some ‘mineral feel’ here, along with ample length.Spot on. What a bargain.” RRP $20

    2012 Paxton AAA Shiraz Grenache
    Gary Walsh, The Wine Front Tasted: Jul-14 Alcohol: 14% Drink: 2014 - 2020
  • Low-ish alcohol, biodynamically grown, no yeast or acid added, all old oak, limited SO2. It sounds downright un-Australian.
    But it's a very interesting wine. Highly drinkable too. It feels good in the mouth, has good carry through the finish, has no lack of up-front flavour, shows no alcohol warmth and has a velvety grapeyness that is quite captivating. I'm sold on it. Dark cherries, violets, a hint of oxidation but in a positive sense. Beautifully formed tannin too. 91/100

    2012 Paxton Graciano
    Campbell Mattinson, Winefront, 3rd January 2014
  • Biodynamically-grown shiraz from McLaren Vale. Small proportion of whole bunches. Grapes come from four separate vineyards. Spends extended time on skins and is matured in both French and American oak.
    Excellent release. Tasty plus. Plums and blackberries, hay and sweet, roasted, milky coffee. Tannin through the finish is a case of Not Too Much, Not Too Little. Crowd-pleasing style but quality in its own right. Price isn't bad either. 92/100

    2012 Paxton MV Shiraz
    Campbell Mattinson, Winefront, 3rd January 2014
  • Single vineyard wine out of McLaren Vale. Biodynamically grown. Wild fermented.
    This is a lighter expression of McLaren Vale Shiraz. That's a good thing. It's high on aromatics and juicy, light-on-its-feet drinkability. It tastes of black cherry, blueberry, peppercorn and blackberry. More or less in that order of emphasis. There's a smoky, clovey, come-hither note to nose, though it's a sophisticated invitation rather than a sleazy one. Everything is dotted and crossed. It'll grow more complex with age, too.

    2012 Paxton Quandong Farm Shiraz
    Campbell Mattinson, Winefront, 3rd January 2014
  • 91pt- "Wow, there's plenty of fruit concentration in this McLaren Vale shiraz. It's powerful but a high degree of poise and elegance has contributed to a most stylish wine. Firm tannins thread seamlessly through the rich plummy fruit with a liberal toasty oak infusion adding complexity. Lots to like in this thoroughly drinkable offering"

    2013 MV Shiraz
    Ray Jordan- WA Oct 2014
  • 93pt-The grapes were whole bunch-pressed and the juice
    fermented in stainless steel, 60% with wild yeast,
    40% with cultured yeast; the lees were stirred for 3
    weeks post-fermentation. It has a distinct pink tinge
    to the colour, and is a pinot gris with bagfuls of
    attitude; the texture borders on the baroque, and the
    spiced pear and apple fruit is there for all to see.
    Drink by: 2015 Date tasted: 5/8/2013 Alcohol:13%

    2013 Paxton Pinot Gris
    James Hallidays Wine Compnaion 2014
  • Made from grapes specifically grown for this wine, and was given 24 hours' skin contact, then cool-fermented like a white wine - the secret weapon 5% fermented in new French oak. Bright fuschia-pink, it has red cherry/strawberry aromas, the palate building convincingly with seamless fruit in the same register, mouthfilling and pleasingly dry. 95/100

    2013 Paxton Rose
    James Halliday, Wine Companion Newsletter, 21st August 2013
  • 92pt- "Bargain quaffer but with bloody, meatiness, density, chewy tannins and a fresh finish-the wine feels almost joven in its sleek, vibrant way but there's that tannin tug that shows your palate a little more structure and spiciness of fruit offers intrigue. Nicely done here, 12.5% alc."

    2013 Paxton Tempranillo
    Mike Bennie WBM- Oct 2014