Class of 1988
Owner of Tagai
As a multi–award-winning winemaker and connoisseur, he has a deep passion for the grapevine. From the start of his journey at John Paul College, Viv Knight is the classic example that hard work and determination are the best recipe for success.
Graduating in 1988 meant that Viv was amongst the pinnacle of Expo ‘88, JPC’s claim to fame with the marching band. He played rugby and cricket throughout his JPC journey including a spot in the prestigious Rugby First XV team in Years Eleven and Twelve and the First XI Cricket team from Years Ten to Twelve.
After graduating from JPC in 1988, Viv studied Wine Marketing at Roseworthy Agricultural College (The University of Adelaide) in the Barossa Valley in South Australia. Upon graduating, Viv worked for Oddbins (fine wine retailer in London) as the Australian Fine Wine Manager. Following his success in multiple managerial roles in fine wine and brand management, Viv started Knight Fine Wines in 1999 as Queensland’s first on-
premises only boutique wine portfolio as a wholesale distributor to restaurants after discovering a gap in the market.
It was during Viv’s time as New South Wales State Manager for Craggy Range Australia that he recounts being hounded by friends and family to make his own wine. After developing 40 cases with just 500 bottles for fun for his friends and family, Viv entered the vintage into the Australian and New Zealand Boutique Wine Awards in 2014 and was awarded Best
Despite the love for his previous jobs and the experience they provided, Viv declared that his roots in Zimbabwe, Africa had fostered a desire to work closer to nature and the outdoors.
‘There has always been a drive since leaving Africa to get back to the outdoors life’ Viv says.
It was this desire that prompted him to move to South Australia. After a four year search, Viv purchased an old apple orchard in Lenswood, Adelaide Hills.
Viv hopes to develop the vineyard into a winery with a cellar door, as his passion for rural living is one he hopes to share with visitors whilst they take in the fine wine and beautiful surrounds.
‘I have won Best Shiraz, and the Scar Tree label has several gold medals. In 2019, Tagai won a trophy for Best Malbec, however I think my biggest achievement was developing this derelict property into something that’s productive and for people to come to enjoy’ Viv admits proudly.
He plans to build a residence on the property in the future and hopes that Tagai gains momentum to become a well-known wine brand. Viv’s Cellar Door building plans are underway. He is currently establishing a white wine (Chardonnay) vineyard in Lenswood, Adelaide Hills just 35 minutes from Adelaide.
All of Viv’s red wines come from Langhorne Creek, 70km south east of Adelaide. His mates have been growing grapes for over 120 years and allow him to use their fruit for his red wines.
John Paul College is so enamoured by Viv’s wine, we now present Tagai’s wine as gifts for staff and visitors coming to the College.
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