Bob Oatley is a proud and passionate fifth-generation Australian who has taken Australian wine to the world.
He has built a diverse family business that runs from vineyards, wineries and cattle stations, through to thoroughbred horses and luxury tourism at Hamilton Island on Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef.
It’s often said that success is all a matter of timing and Bob Oatley has that in spades.
His instinctive nature and ability to seize an opportunity has seen him lead the way in the world of wine, developing new styles, varietals and markets and in doing so, taking his own business and the Australian wine industry on to dizzying new heights.
“Bob’s a great believer in what is possible,” says his long-standing friend and colleague Chris Hancock, “and a great believer in the people around him.
He gives people strength, individuality and presence. He turns ordinary people into extraordinary people. Just being in his presence makes you a different person. It’s quite amazing.”
Having enjoyed tremendous success marketing Papua New Guinea’s coffee and cocoa beans throughout the world in the 1950s and 60s, Bob Oatley established the now famous Hunter Valley-based Rosemount Estate, producing his first commercial vintages in the early 1970s.
Over the ensuing three decades his wines developed an impressive pedigree – gracing the world’s best wine lists and winning many of the highest accolades, whilst consistently topping sales in Australia, the UK, CANADA and USA.
Bob stepped back from the world of wine in 2005, returning, with a sparkle in his eye, just one year later. He soon launched the Robert Oatley brand in the USA to considerable acclaim, and in March 2009 re-named his new wine company Robert Oatley Vineyards.
Today, Bob’s winemaking home is Mudgee, 261 km north-west of Sydney, a region of sunshine, ancient red-brown earths and a rich winemaking history.
His wines are produced from a diverse set of family-owned vineyards spread throughout the Mudgee region as well as grapes grown for the family from vineyards as far away as Margaret River and Pemberton, Western Australia.
It’s a mark of the man, that despite the fame of Hamilton Island, Rosemount Estate and his super-maxi yacht Wild Oats XI, he is little-known outside of his close circle of friends.
There are precious few profile stories about Bob Oatley – he is a man of actions rather than words.
In short, he simply prefers to let his wine ‘do the talking’.