Where it All Started

I’m not sure when I developed a real passion for making wine, but it probably started when I was about 18.  I’d always loved cooking and had started learning about the connection between the land and the food on my plate growing up as a kid in Lake Grace, a small wheatbelt town in Western Australia.  Unlike most ten year old kids, it was hard for me to avoid realizing that our sheep became our lamb roast.  This rural education also included learning that the rosemary came from the garden, along with the tomatoes and a whole variety of other vegetables and fruit – a truly organic lifestyle that I completely took for granted – and which I now strongly integrate into the making of our wines.


The family got out of farming in 1994 and into vines and olives.  The setting wasn’t hugely different and by the time I’d left high-school and started my viticulture degree, I knew a tiny bit about getting a vine to become a well-made wine.


It’s now almost 20 years since I planted my first vine and I still get a thrill when I see the berries develop over the season – knowing that subtle changes in soil and weather patterns are going to provide a unique style that will likely never be repeated.


If you know a Walsh in W.A – you’ve unwittingly joined a wide ranging social group that includes 2 aunties, 3 uncles, 20+ first cousins, dozens of continuously multiplying children.  I honestly gave up counting a few years ago and now just try and match personality traits from nephew or niece to the appropriate parent.


This thriving, social, energetic family life is what’s driven my partner Freya and I to create a wine brand that intermingles with the family.  Though we chose the name Walsh & Sons – it’s probably more accurate to say Walsh and Family.  We’ve named all of our wines after nieces and nephews and they’ve all been a part of the journey of getting our wines from a late-night idea to the bottles you see before you today.

For the Love of Family

Family has always been a hugely supportive and interconnected part of my life.  I grew up with 3 brothers, a sister and what felt like dozens of first cousins.  We all spent a lot of time together as kids and when Freya and I began thinking about a concept for naming our wine, it didn’t take long for us to find a family angle on it.

RoiWith Roi, Felix, Lola and Poppet all having been drawn from the names of family members, we’re treating the wines as a family that will grow and be interconnected like our own family.  Like naming children, when we sat down with the wines and let their characteristics speak to us – it was short work to assign them to a family member with the same qualities.

Blog_01The design of the labels was also inspired by family.  As our first wines came off the ranks, we thought it was a good idea to represent the labels with illustrations of kids at play.  These are in a sense the children of the label – and we hope you can join us on the journey as the wine family (and our family) grows.

Ryan Walsh and Freya Hohnen – Walsh & Sons

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