Todd Payne


Starting out his working career completing an apprenticeship in Refrigeration and Air-conditioning, Todd soon realised that this was not the career for him, and with a passion for wine growing stronger, he took his hard earned money and left for a working holiday through Europe.

Returning from his trip with an ever increasing love of wine, Todd was led to study a Bachelor of Science in Viticulture and Oenology at Curtin University. Armed with his new qualifications, he completed a couple of vintages in the Great Southern and Napa Valley (US) before taking on the Assistant Winemaker position at Plantagenent Wines in Mt Barker at the end of 2003, working his way up to Winemaker over the course of 3 years.

In January 2007 Todd moved with his wife to New Zealand to take on the role of Winemaker at Esk Valley Estate in Hawke’s Bay. Being part of the Villa Maria group meant that he was able to work with ultra-premium fruit from the famous Gimblett Gravels region of Hawke’s Bay, as well as travel to Marlborough and Auckland to taste and blend all the major varieties from New Zealand’s winegrowing areas (and yes, lots of Sauvignon Blanc!!). He also managed to squeeze in two French vintages in the Northern Rhone working for Domaine du Monteillet in 2006 and Yves Cuilleron in 2008.

Todd is now delighted to be able to bring his family home to WA and to be a part of the Forester Estate team.

“I am really looking forward to making wines from the Margaret River region. Forester wines have been going from strength to strength and I am very happy to be a part of the team to help this continue.”