Navneet Singh is quickly carving a name as one of the young guns of the Australian wine industry.
At the age of 32, the Delhi-born winemaker already judges at prestigious wine shows right across the country and is studying for his Masters of Wine with the renowned Institute of Masters of Wine in London.
He also sits on the board of the Margaret River Wine Industry Association and has twice been nominated for the Wine Society’s Young Winemaker of the Year.
Looking back, the Delhi-born winemaker knows that one of the best decisions he ever made was to move to Adelaide in 1999 to study at the University of Adelaide.
“The best university for oenology and viticulture qualifications was and still is the University of Adelaide,” he says. “The university provides the best possible mix of practical and theoretical knowledge, as well as significant industry contacts and networks.
“Adelaide itself offers the best environment for education – it’s easy to commute and has excellent facilities, libraries and ideal student accommodation. The city emulates the lifestyle and work balance that Australia is best recognized for.
“For wine studies, there are many wine regions just on the doorstep of the city and that’s the best way to gain experience while undertaking your education.”
Like many students, Navneet was able to supplement his income with part-time employment in Adelaide’s busy hospitality industry. “With my wine background, I was able to work as a sommelier and wine buyer for the then Hyatt Regency Adelaide, now the Intercontinental Hotel,” he says.“With a cost of living that is slightly lower than other major cities, Adelaide is an ideal destination for students from all around the world.”
Completing his studies in 2003, Navneet initially took up a position as assistant winemaker with Mountadam Wines in South Australia’s Eden Valley.
For the past six years he’s been general manager and senior winemaker at Moss Brothers in Western Australia’s Margaret River wine region – drawing on world’s best practice to build his reputation for innovation and excellence.
“One of the highlights of my career was working at Domaine de L’ Arlot and Chateau Le Pin, two of the most prestigious wineries in Burgundy & Bordeaux respectively,” Navneet says.
“Working alongside an excellent group of winemakers provided for a higher level of knowledge on organic, biodynamic and sustainable management practices needed for premium wine business growth.”
The result is a growing list of medals and trophies for Navneet’s wines. Moss Brothers won ‘Best Estate Grown Trophy’ at the ANZ West Australian Wine Industry Awards for its 2005 Chardonnay, while his Cabernet Sauvignon was nominated for the prestigious 2009 Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show.
Navneet is not resting on past glories, though. As well as undertaking a huge workload to complete his Masters of Wine, he’s also taking part in the Future Leaders Program with the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation, he continues to promote his NavWine consultancy through the sub-continent and is also planning to one day establish his own winery and vineyard.
When it comes to Navneet’s winemaking future in Australia and beyond, three words come to mind: Watch This Space.