Wine Legends is a concept that evolved into a business by Adelaide Wine Marketing Graduate – Ben Shillito. With 25 years experience selling wine in restaurants, independent retail, cellar doors, wine dinners and international trade shows – Ben has a natural flair for selling wine whilst telling stories that are engaging and humorous.
“I guess the passion for telling wine stories began in a restaurant I worked in London, where I had a mentor (Eric Garnier) who would open wines I could hardly pronounce for the staff to sample with the menu – I came back home with a passion for wine and an expensive taste for European food!”.
Whilst studying at Adelaide University Ben worked in wine retail (Edinburgh Cellars) and cellar door (Penfolds) before completing two successive vintages at the historic Magill Estate winery.
“I was a Grange tour guide in 2004 at Magill Estate – I loved it so much I put my hand up to do a vintage and ended up going back to back (2005 & 2006). We would tell these great stories about Max Schubert and Jeffrey Penfold Hyland – real legends in the Australian Wine Industry”.
A successful wine marketing career followed working with wine producers from five different wine regions over 15 years – Ben travelled the globe promoting Australian wines for both small and large wineries. In 2016 whilst working in Melbourne a decision was made to move back home to South Australia and to the Barossa Valley. The concept of finding a ‘Wine legend’ was conceived over a bottle of one of the new breed of producers in the region.
“I see the wine industry changing as consumers want a real connection with the food and beverages we consume – telling stories over a fantastic bottle of wine brings you into the moment of discovery”.
“I love what I do and when I find something new and someone who wants to share that moment with you – that will probably end up on one of my wine tours the very next week”.
Wine Legends are what make wine regions great by providing great experiences, it is my aim to hunt out the best of the Barossa Valley and share it in a fun and interesting way.
Wineries in the Barossa Valley