Mike Fitzpatrick's interest in wine began on Squitchy Lane in Oxford, England, where he lived while studying at Oxford University in the 1970s. It was here that he first tasted wines from Europe's finest single vineyards.
With the taste of these great wines impressed firmly in his memory, Mike returned to Australia with his future wife Helen. After a successful football career, including captaining Carlton Football Club to two premierships, Mike began building his financial career, while his interest in Australian wines developed.
When Mike met Dr. John Middleton and tasted the outstanding Mount Mary wines, he realised that the Yarra Valley could produce world class Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The Valley offers growing conditions a little warmer than Burgundy and a little cooler than Bordeaux – and boasts a long history of quality across the full range of classic varieties.
In the mid 90s Mike began to search the Valley for a suitable vineyard, with a view to creating his own single vineyard wines.
In 1996, Mike found his ideal site - a vineyard planted in 1982 just around the corner from Coldstream Hills and Yarra Yering. At first, Mike sold the fruit to renowned local wineries. Then in 2004, while running his Melbourne based finance company Squitchy Lane Holdings, Mike assembled a team of wine industry professionals to grow, make and market a range of wines from Squitchy Lane.