Sandy Yeates has lived in Mudgee for just over 30 years now. Although he grew up in Sydney, Sandy has always had a green thumb and after studying Agricultural Science at Sydney University, he married law student, Victoria and moved to Maitland where he began his career in agriculture. Here he managed a farm and learnt the art of agriculture. Later, he lectured at Tocal Agricultural College and not too long after this, accepted a job at NSW Agriculture (now NSW Department of Primary Industries) which prompted the move to Mudgee. Shortly after settling in Mudgee, Sandy and Vicki purchased a property just outside of Rylstone and Sandy began a long and prosperous career in Angus cattle breeding (and parenting). Over the years he gained a reputation for his impressive Patawalla Stud Bulls and also won several awards including NSW Seedstock Producer of the Year. Despite his success, in 2010 Sandy was ready for a change and this coincided with the sale of Foster's Mountain Blue Vineyard whose fantastic wines and remarkable reputation Sandy & Vicki were very familiar with.
THE NEXT CHAPTER - THE YEATES Vigneron
Having lived in the Mudgee region amongst winemakers & vignerons for so long, Sandy took on the 'if you can't beat them join them' attitude and decided to give grape-growing a shot. After much consideration, Sandy & Vicki purchased the vineyard in 2010 and Sandy began to learn whatever he could about the wine business. His experience in agriculture and his appreciation of wine combined with his love of the outdoors, suggested the transition from cattle to wine would be a relatively smooth one, but still, it wasn't going to be easy. With the help of several wine-makers, vignerons, the internet, a variety of books and of course friends and family, Sandy began to learn the grape-growing ropes and after just four years, he began to manage the vineyard himself. Whenever possible the rest of the family (usually Vicki) plus some casual staff help out where they can. However, it's Sandy who you'll find walking up and down the rows of the vineyard on any given day, whether he's pruning, picking or checking irrigation, he'll often be there from the crack of dawn until sundown with the determination to make exceptional wine.