Winemaker Alex Russell

In 1980’s Melbourne, Alex Russell’s journey into the world of fermentation was starting with humble beginnings; at the counter of a local store sat a Cooper’s homebrew kit and it seemed fate had a plan. With the goal of making a beer for his dad, Alex’s homebrewing repertoire soon included ginger beer, elderberry wine, cider, mead and wine made from grape juice concentrate. By the age of thirteen, Alex was already on the path to a promising future in winemaking.

A childhood spent growing fruit and vegetables, hunting for game and yabbie fishing after school instilled in Alex a deep respect for the land and all its bounty. This passion for agriculture alongside his budding fermentation hobby laid an obvious road to the pursuit of a career in winemaking.

"Alex Russell’s journey into the world of fermentation was starting with humble beginnings."

After studying Viticulture at La Trobe University and Wine Science at Charles Sturt respectively, Alex began working for household names such as Zilzie and Angove before being introduced to the Riverland Vine Improvement Committee (RVIC), a nursery specialising in the importation and propagation of new and alternate grape varietals from around the world. While working with the RVIC, Alex was exposed to everything from Albarino to Zinfandel, and quickly became their experimental winemaker and began producing wines for the Cerami Estate label in 2008.
After a trip to Spain to meet with an old winemaking colleague from his Zilzie days, Alex decided to branch out on his own and in 2014 he launched his first label ‘Alejandro.’ Alex’s time abroad inspired him to explore the potential of locally grown grapes ordinarily reserved for fortified and cask wines in Australia, grapes that respond exceedingly well to the South Australian climate with all the character and complexity of their Spanish counterparts.
The following year, Alex set up his own winery in a leased shed in Renmark, South Australia, and expanded production to include rare varietals such as Saperavi, Durif, Lagrein, Montepulciano, Vermentino and Tempranillo. From 2016, production included Monastrell, Graciano, Fiano, Bianco d’Alessano, Arneis, Prosecco, Nero d’Avola, Carmenere and Grenache Shiraz Rose.

"Alex’s obsession with quality and sustainability is unwavering."

Alex’s obsession with quality and sustainability is unwavering. Nowhere is that more evident than with the release of his newest range of wines under the  Russell & Suitor banner. Endlessly zealous about quality and craft, 2019 has seen Alex has set his sights on the cooler climate of Pipers River, north of Launceston, Tasmania. Under Russell & Suitor, Alex has been reinvigorated by the idyllic and pristine terroir of Tasmania, and the new opportunities such a climate presents. Alex has grabbed the bull by the horns with that familiar confidence beloved by Alex Russell Wines loyalists, yet with the gentle hand required of cool-climate winemaking.

While continuing to produce alternate varietal wines from the Riverland and Mildura region of South Australia, Russell & Suitor will be creating premium Tasmanian wines from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling and Gewürztraminer to name a few.

With new lands come new opportunities and under Russell & Suitor, Alex will continue his tireless pursuit to create the best value and highest quality wines possible.