Raised and schooled in the Hunter Valley, Bill’s ancestors came to the area in the 1800’s, so you can’t be much more local than that.
He completed his first degree in Economics at Newcastle University and throughout his student years worked part time in local vineyards and had a cellar door job at Tyrrell’s winery. His passion for wine grew to the point where at the end of 1983 he decided to take the offer of Assistant Winemaker at Allandale Winery whilst completing a degree in Oenology (Wine Science) at Charles Sturt University.
When the then chief winemaker and part owner Ed Jouault resigned from Allandale in 1986 Bill Sneddon, at just 27, was appointed Chief Winemaker and General Manager.
In his final year of his Oenology degree he was won a travelling scholarship for a paper he wrote on The Future of Pinot Noir. In 1989 he embarked on the traveling scholarship visiting wine regions in California. This lead to the offer of a vintage job at Flora Springs winery in the Napa Valley which he undertook in 1991. Apart from California, he has also traveled extensively in the wine regions of New Zealand, Italy, France and Argentina.
Bill focused on his philosophy that the future of Allandale was dependent upon producing new world wines of distinctive quality drawing on the values of old world styles. It is on this quality that Allandale’s reputation has been built.
In 1991 Allandale’s reputation was confirmed when the Allandale Chardonnay was chosen in the Top 100 at the Sydney National Wine Show, won a silver medal in “The Wine Magazine International Wine Challenge” in London and was given benchmark accreditation (recognised as a significant wine). Bill continued raising Allandale’s profile internationally as a premium wine producer by the numerous awards the company won throughout the 1990’s (see accolades below).
He has been an associate judge at Hunter Valley Wine Show and a judge at the NSW’s Wine Awards.
Under Bill’s leadership, Allandale has progressed from a wine production of 25 tonnes in 1978 to 350 tonnes and firmly established itself as one of Australia’s premium boutique wineries.
The 1995 Semillon won three trophies throughout Australia, 1997 Chardonnay won “Best Chardonnay in Australia & New Zealand” by Winestate Magazine in 1998 and the 1998 Chardonnay won Number One wine in Oz Clarke’s Year 2000 Top Dozen in the U.K. in 1999. Allandale’s Chardonnay was also been chosen to be served on Scandinavian Airlines Business Class. More recent accolades include 2018 Allandale Rosé winning “Rosé of the Year for Australia & New Zealand” by Winestate Magazine in 2019.
“Bill Sneddon is, without a doubt, one of Australia’s rising stars…” MAJESTIC WINE WAREHOUSE, UK.
“Sneddon has gained a national reputation for his Chardonnay, which had been selected to represent Australia in the 1999 Tri-nations Chardonnay Challenge…” JENI PORT, UNCORKED, THE AGE
Alex was born in England and moved to Australia permanently in January 2006 after living here for a period of time in 1997. Alex worked for an I.T. software company in England for 7 years as Key Accounts Project Manager. It slowly became clear to Alex that (apart from the money) this was a futile experience and needed remedying. Coincidently around the same time it also became clear that moving to the other side of the world to make wine made infinitely more sense and so the decision was made.
Alex joined Allandale Winery in November 2006 while studying a full time Diploma in Viticulture for Winemaking.
He has spent time travelling extensively through wine regions in South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, Central Otago, New Zealand and Napa Valley, California.
Alex’s beliefs are centred on state-of-the-art technology, traditional methods, and sourcing the best fruit you can get your hands on.