Unlike Edwina, I’m a first generation Australian. At school, whilst other kids had meat pies and vegemite sandwiches for lunch, I had roasted pepper sandwiches and homemade sausages. With my uncles and aunts pressing grapes on their farms and in their backyards, and my own family at one time having a small vineyard, it’s clear where my interest in wine originated.
We met in 1994, the same year I graduated from horticulture. As I was starting my work in wine, we were also embarking on our life journey. During my career, I've been head winemaker at Houghton and a traveling consultant. I designed vineyards and wineries, and work took me overseas to New Zealand, USA, France, Italy and South Africa.
Edwina and I purchased our first parcel of land in Frankland River in 2004 with dreams of planting our own vineyard. It was a small parcel that had originally been part of a large, historic land holding called Riversdale. A few years later we had the opportunity to buy the neighbouring vineyard, and acres of prime river and vineyard country. We didn’t hesitate as we knew its potential.
Larry Cherubino Wines began in our spare room in 2005 with the release of one wine. A lot has happened since. The range has grown, and along the way, we’ve been honoured to be listed as Winery Of The Year by respected wine critics such as James Halliday and Matt Skinner.
Though Houghton pioneered winemaking in Western Australia almost 200 years ago, viticulture in this part of the world is still relatively young and unexplored. The Great Southern was just being named as having potential in the fifties, from the likes of Maurice O’Shea, Bill Jamieson, and Professor Harold Olmo. It wasn’t until 1965 that Forest Hill pioneered modern Great Southern with their planting at Mount Barker, and then in the following two years later Justin Roche and Dr. Thomas Cullity (Vasse Felix) shared cuttings for their respective vineyards in Frankland and Margaret Rivers. Ahead of their time, it wasn’t even until the 70s and 80s that excitement in the now famous Margaret River began to grow.
These names, along with the research and vision of Dr. John Gladstone, have left an enduring legacy. We are humbled by these pioneers, and excited about what the future may bring. We’re trying to add to the knowledge of viticulture and wine. We’ve imported around 20 new clones to the state and are propagating these with a local nursery, to add to the bank of vines for the benefit of all winegrowers. Our Riversdale vineyard, followed by Channybearup, has the most up to date clonal plantings in the state. We want to contribute to wines seen from our part of the world, with vineyards that remain long after the bottles are gone.