wandin team

SAY HELLO TO OUR TEAM

The Wandin Team are experts in winemaking, culinary delights and event management, providing a Hunter Valley experience like no other.

GENERAL MANAGER - MARK ALLEN

“The holistic Wandin experience is something I am very proud of. From every aspect of our service, products and hospitality, it’s all about passion and ensuring a seamless sensory experience at every touchpoint.”

With hospitality and the Hunter both in his DNA, our General Manager Mark Allen is right at home here at Wandin.

Mark’s bring over 20 years of in-depth experience in hospitality management, food and wine, events, sales and marketing to inspire our team with his leadership and vision for the evolution of Wandin.

He knows the greater Hunter region like the back of his hand having previously provided his expertise to establishments including Hunter Valley Gardens, Roach Wines, Quality Hotel NOAH’S On the Beach and Linear International Hotel Group.

Mark’s commitment to and passion for exceptional service and providing a unique and welcoming experience for our customers and staff alike in every aspect of Wandin is a huge part of our DNA. And it’s one of the big reasons he’s been with us since 2012 while his vision is integral to our future.

general manager mark allen
 

CHIEF WINEMAKER - PJ CHARTERIS

“I was an early convert to the magic of winemaking and I have never forgotten the qualities of exceptional wine – elegant, sophisticated, and complex; but most important of all, approachable. These are the wines I love to make, and they remind me of our Hunter terroir.”

With brands like Penfolds, Lindeman’s, Knappstein and Brokenwood under his belt, it’s no wonder that PJ Charteris is one of Australia’s most sought-after winemakers. But his heart is firmly planted here in the Hunter, and we’re thrilled its now spearheading the new look wines of Wandin.

Growing up in Waikato, New Zealand, at the tender age of thirteen PJ learned to prune vines and tended to harvest after school. A lifelong passion was born and he followed the rite of passage to Adelaide’s prestigious Roseworthy Agricultural College to study Oenology.

From Coonawarra and the Clare Valley to Oregon, California and the Rhone Valley, PJ’s intimate knowledge of interpreting terroir and regionality was honed at some of Australia’s and the world’s greatest vineyards.

It was his 12-year tenure at Brokenwood Wines here in the Hunter that cemented his reputation as one of Australia’s leading and award-winning winemakers, and as a highly-regarded spokesperson for the Hunter Valley and Australian wine industry.

With an exceptional palate and down-to-earth attitude, PJ is known as one of the industry’s best. A senior wine show judge with over 20 years’ industry experience, we are honoured, proud and humbled to have him steer the helm of Wandin winemaking to reflect our commitment to exceptional wines with Hunter and regional pedigree.

chief winemaker pj charteris
 

MARKETING MANAGER - REBEKAH SADLIER

“I’m driven by ensuring and upholding quality and passionate about delivering great customer service. Wandin is my perfect match.”

With over 15 years of experience in the hospitality and events industry in Sydney, Port Stephens and more significantly the Hunter Valley, Rebekah Sadlier has leant her hand to almost everything encompassing sales, marketing and events – including managing functions, conferences, weddings, trade shows and special events including the iconic Lovedale Long Lunch.

Rebekah’s career also includes eight years working in business development, sales and marketing in the recruitment and training industry as a project and staff manager within the corporate and government sectors.

Today, as a mother of 2, business owner, candle maker and avid lover of wine, she has found her home at Wandin where she is encouraged to bring her skills, passion and vision together and committed to developing good sales and marketing practices that promote true and meaningful messages.

marketing manager rebekah sadlier
 

HEAD CHEF - JOHN RUTHERFORD

“I have spent most of my life on the land in the Hunter region and am so proud to be part of something special here at Wandin – a place where I can showcase the best of season and best of flavour by creating beautiful food for people who enjoy the epicurean experience of the country in the most spectacular surrounds.”

With an intimate knowledge of the seasonal local produce that best reflects the story of the Hunter Valley, it's the culinary prowess and respect for complimentary winemaking of our Head Chef John Rutherford that sought us to lure him to take the reins of Wandin Café.

John’s commitment to and passion for the region and to his career has kept him close to home creating sumptuous menus as both a head chef and corporate caterer across the greater Hunter and Newcastle region for over 25 years. He is also a passionate farmer who runs his family farm with an abundance of livestock and vegetables.

John joined the Wandin team in 2017 and his new look menus for the Wandin Café and his wedding catering are a testament to his experience, creativity and wealth of knowledge of what thrives in the Hunter. His is a true visionary when it comes to delivering on the paddock to plate food philosophy and you can taste the freshness and flavours of the Hunter with every single mouthful.

head chef john rutherford
 

WEDDING AND EVENTS COORDINATOR - JAMES RODGERS

“Weddings are a journey and each one is different and it’s my privilege to help along the way. The opportunity to make that happen for people here at Wandin is unique and incredibly special.”

With almost a decade in the wine and events industry including the last six as a bespoke wedding planner, James Rodgers loves making people smile. He is always happy to give the best advice and guidance he can to make a Wandin wedding seamless and magical.

Meticulous in his attention to detail, from the very first meeting to the final farewell of the last guest, James is there. His “little white book” of local connections and services is invaluable and he loves to go the extra mile to make things happen.

For James, the best part of his job is the people he gets to meet every day and being able to do this at Wandin—“the beautiful place I get to call work”—is just incredible.

wedding event coordinator james rodgers
 

CELLAR DOOR - KURT NILON

Originally coming from Sunny Queensland, Kurt found himself emerged in Sydney's restaurant and bars working for various pubs throughout Darlinghurst and Paddington. He later was appointed as the Junior Cruise Director on the infamous Sydney Showboats. In that time he found his real passion for wine and developed the love that is the Hunter Valley. In a spare of the moment decision to leave Sydney behind and have a tree change, he and his partner made the 2 and half hour journey North and settled down in Wine Country.

Combing his people skills and passion for wine, he started off as a casual Cellar Door Sales assistant in one Winery in the Hunter Valley. This lead to eventually taking on multi-facets of the business including Wine Club and Wholesale ordering.

Wine is a base to all of his conversations so he would love to see you in the Cellar Door to have a chat about the different wine Wandin has to offer and that is the Hunter Valley.

cellar door kurt
 

WANDIN
12 WILDERNESS ROAD,
LOVEDALE NSW AUSTRALIA 2320