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Owners & Cellar Door Tastings

Robert and Peggy Channon

Meet winery owners and founders, Robert and Peggy Channon as they personally greet visitors and guide them through wine tastings at the cellar door.

“Visitors seem to appreciate the experience of tasting with us, the owners of Robert Channon Wines.  We have both been hands-on and at the forefront in the cellar door as well as the vineyard and the winemaking since the winery first opened.”

Peggy has an unending love of meeting people and Robert brings his story telling and quick-witted humour to every tasting.


What they did before the winery:

Peggy was a teacher and Robert a solicitor, both successful and neither holding thoughts that one day they might cast it all aside to embark on a new life in the wine industry together.

Robert was born just outside of London, in Shepperton, England and went to school in Sussex.  He graduated in Law at Cambridge University, qualified as a solicitor and worked with a London firm.  Robert came out to Australia at the end of 1973 to escape the miners’ strike in the UK.  Arriving just as Mr Whitlam’s recession was in full swing, Robert drove a taxi in Sydney for a few months before landing a job with one of the big firms, Freehills where he became Partner.

Robert and Peggy met when they were both singing with the Sydney Philharmonia Choir. Music is a joint passion for them and Peggy is a fine pianist, hence the Winery’s annual concerts.


How they came to build a winery

“We don’t quite know how or when we chose wine, except that we both love drinking wine and my father was a great wine drinker and knew lots about wine, so I suppose it was in my blood early on like anti-freeze.”

“Peggy has always wanted to be on the land rather than in the big cities.  I’d spent about 35 years as a solicitor and I’d done most of the things I wanted to do in law and at the vigorous young age of 55 I thought it was time to do something ‘useful’.”

“We were living in Brisbane and came out to the Granite Belt and had a look around. There were some really great wines here, although also some interesting wines of local character (ie terrible ones) as well at that time, but clearly you could make some great wines here on the Granite Belt if you were set up properly, so that’s what we decided to do.”

Cellar Door Manager / Assistant Winemaker

Ashley Smith

Ever ready with a humorous tale, Ash is the shaggy-bearded, happy face greeting many wine tasters at Robert Channon Wines.  He is also our assistant wine maker with a degree in Business Management and Wine Science. He has a lot of experience in running cellar doors and wine tastings.  He joined the Robert Channon team in 2020.

Robert Channon describes Ash:

“Ash has a great sense of humour and you can tell when you walk nearby if it is Ash conducting a wine tasting because there  will be gales of laughter all over the place.  Wine tastings with Ash are A) fun and B) well-informed. He has a great technical knowledge of winemaking and explains that knowledge very well to cellar door visitors, who absolutely rave about his wine tastings.”

Vineyard Manager

Clark Strudwick

Clark is a long time Stanthorpe local (despite the misfortune of being born in New South Wales) and on a visit to Robert Channon Wines, Clark can usually be spotted out in the vineyards, where he has been tending the vines since 2016.

Robert Channon describes Clark:

“Clark lives just up the road in Amiens and treats our vineyard as if it were his own, working day and sometimes even night.  He is an invaluable part of our little team and it’s hard to think of anyone who takes more detailed care of a vineyard than he does. Making high quality wines starts with growing high quality grapes in the vineyard and that is exactly what Clark does for us.”

Canine Receptionist

JS Bark

Cellar door visitors are typically greeted first by Robert Channon’s ‘wine dog’ and canine receptionist, JS Bark.

Most days she escorts people in from the carpark… that is if she’s not on one of her occasional ‘lazy days’ when she appears to be asleep but is actually supervising.