I’ve never been much into athletics. All that running and jumping gives me horrible flashbacks to sports lessons at school, landing face first in a muddy puddle while being screamed at by my gym teacher.

However, the Athletes of Wine - this is something I can really see myself getting into, and given the quality of their produce, I’d even do a cross-country run in the rain if there was a bottle at the end of it.

The Athletes of Wine are Matt Brooke and Liam O’Brien, two passionate sommeliers from Melbourne who decided to take the love of selecting and pouring wine and convert that into a dedication for producing the stuff.

In 2007, when they got started, they’d be the first to admit that they didn’t really know what they were doing - they worked by instinct, and set about making the sort of wine they’d select for their customers in their day job.

So, they got themselves a seven-year-old block of Pinot Noir vines in the Macedon Ranges, which had been neglected and left in an unloved state, and started tending and nursing the vines back to life.

Within a couple of years, they had their first crop, and along with grapes sourced from other quality sites in the region, they were able to produce their wines with their philosophy of low intervention, low yields, and instinct-driven viticulture.

The result was an instant winner. Their sympathetic approach and dedication to achieving remarkable amounts of expression - putting across the stunning terroir they work within the bottle - led to a truly characterful set of wines which quickly won fans from all corners of the globe. This is wine with a real sense of pride, and definitely worth sprinting for.

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