Renowned reviewer James Halliday has often been quoted on this website with statements like “Mike Press works his magic again”. As recently as last November, James congratulated Mike personally on his latest award [1] when they met in McLaren Vale. Mike has more than fifty years of experience in the South Australian wine industry – he has seen it all and worked with the big names – from Max Schubert in the early days to Wolf Blass.

The good news is that stocks of wine made personally by Mike have been built up and continue to be available to Press Club members and through our distributors in Australia and abroad.

Another good news is that last year we went into partnership with Oliver’s Taranga, purchasing the former Gemtree winery on Hamilton Road in McLaren Vale, and creating Oliver & Press Winemakers. Key members of the team led by Manager Josh Waechter have continued to work enthusiastically with leading SA winemaker and recognized businesswoman Corrina Wright, and able administrator Sam Oliver. Mike, who has mentored many winemakers, commended Josh to us, stating: “I was adamant about Josh being part of Oliver and Press for MPW.  I have enjoyed mentoring him”.

We have a personal side to this story. In discussions with Corrina and Sam, we believe that our respective families are at the origin of the wine industry in South Australia, dating back to the earliest free settlers who arrived in the years 1837 to 1839, just after Proclamation. Robert’s maternal grandmother was a Hamilton, and his late brother, John Hamilton Harris, had established contacts with our distant cousins. The name has been stayed in the family with grandchildren in Australia and France. As Corrina said, when we saw the address of the winery, it was meant to be!

Nostalgia aside, we are very grateful to Mike and Andrew Press for introducing us to the Oliver family and helping to build this promising partnership. James Press has continued to manage the Kenton Valley vineyard superbly. We were glad to see him when back in Adelaide last month and to have his update on this year’s harvest. Those grapes are being delivered right now to the winery and Josh will begin working his magic with them for a new vintage.

With the able assistance of our accountants at Henson Lloyd we have been able to make new arrangements for delivery of Mike Press Wines directly to Club members from Wine Works in the southern suburbs. While distributors in the Eastern states will still receive consignments from stocks stored in Mildura, from this harvest onwards, Josh will organize bottling and storage at a nearby facility south of Adelaide.

Our new emphasis on proximity is good for the environment, good for the wines, with less trucking back and forth, and keeping costs down for you, our customers.

South Australia remains the centre of the Australian wine industry, which although buffeted by global issues, still has a bright future. We would like Australians to continue to benefit from these wonderful wines sourced in the Adelaide Hills and made with care and skill at Oliver & Press in Hamilton Road, McLaren Vale.

Robert and Yuko Harris

From Prowien, the world’s biggest wine show, in Dusseldorf, Germany.


Robert and Yuko currently own the Kenton Valley Vineyard in the Adelaide Hills. Robert is Director and Yuko is the principal investor in Mike Press Wines, which also exports successfully to her home country, Japan.  Yuko is well known in Japan as the translator of the Harry Potter series and like Corrina has won recognition as businesswoman of the year.

A former teacher in Adelaide, Robert went overseas to study and was an architect 30 years ago of the creation of Education International, with 32 million members in more than 160 countries, also serving as President of conferences at the United Nations, UNESCO and the OECD. Adelaide’s Wakefield Press recently published his book: DANCING BEFORE STORMS: five revolutions that shaped the world.

In retirement, apart from time with family and friends, and their interest in wine, Robert and Yuko devote time to their foundations to provide books for children, training for young translators and east-west cultural exchanges.



[1] James Halliday: Best Australian red wines under $40, The Australian, November 2023.

Mike Press Single Vineyard Adelaide Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2021

Estate-grown mature vines, a very good vintage, and the 25-year track record of Press come together to produce wines at rock-bottom prices. Here cassis and black cherry fruit, and integrated oak ex-18 months in French and American oak, all glide along the palate.■ 92 points, $16, 14.2% alcohol■ Drink to 2030