Stephen Pannell founded S. C. Pannell wines with his wife Fiona Lindquist in 2004. The company specialises in a growing range of wines with remarkable character and passion.
Stephen has plenty of experience in the McLaren Vale area, having worked at Wirra Wirra as well as spending four years as chief winemaker at Hardy's between 1999 and 2003, and it was the expertise he learned here that prompted him to begin securing small, interesting parcels of old-vine syrah and grenache vines for his own venture. These include a single-vineyard shiraz the western foothills of McLaren Vale, where red ironstone and limestone soils produce a fine, restrained wine, and a cool-climate syrah grown further north, high in the Southern Adelaide Hills on well-drained granitic soil.
As well as experience in South Australia, Stephen has worked in Burgundy and at first growth Mouton Rothschild in Bordeaux, as well as at Aldo Vajra in Barolo. This latter stint gave Stephen a passion for nebbiolo, prompting him to snap up a parcel in Gumeracha in the north Adelaide Hills, with which he produces both a red wine and a rosé to match the seafood served at the nearby coast.
He also produces aromatic whites in Adelaide Hills, using sauvignon blanc, riesling, gewürztraminer and pinot grigio, and has recently begun making a blend of tempranillo and touriga, two Spanish and Portuguese grapes that he has found ideally suited to the South Australian climate. These are grown in the southern Fleurieu region just south of McLaren Vale.
His wines are fermented in open tanks and matured in large oak barrels to retain the wines' natural character. Unsurprisingly, Stephen has been the recipient of numerous winemaking awards, and he is also the chairman of the National Wine Show in Canberra.