Izway Wines

Izway wines was conceived on a handshake between two Aussie wine makers in a chateau in Beaujolais. Brian Conway and Craig Isbel met during vintage at Chateau de Bluizard in 2002 and after many nights drinking pastis they decided to start their own winery in the Barossa Valley.
Craig got to work seeking out half a tonne of Ebenezer Shiraz from a mate, and this fruit was crafted into the first ‘Bruce’ in 2003, with just the one barrique made. Izway Wines has evolved slowly and organically from there.

In 1998 Craig and two great mates piled into a 1980 VB Commodore and took off in search of the meaning of life. After working on a cattle station, planting a vineyard, driving grape harvesters, mining for uranium, joining the circus, working at a mango farm, and commandeering a pearl boat, the boys finally found themselves in Margaret River. Since then Craig has completed vintages in Margaret River, the Yarra Valley, Beaujolais, Sonoma County, and of course, the Barossa Valley. Even though Craig loves a great bottle of red as much as (and probably more than) the next bloke, his real passion is not the search for the greatest vintages, the greatest grape varieties or the greatest regions in the world. Craig’s passion lies with a pair of pruning sheers in his hands, kicking the red clay dirt at Seppeltsfield and climbing over dusty barrels with a siphon hose in one hand and a glass in the other. He loves nothing more than a hard days work and sipping on a glass of Mates at the end of it.

Brian’s love of wine began when his old man shared a bottle of Dom with him one New Years Eve. He is certainly glad he ditched the party to stay home and drink something that would render him speechless and inspire him to pursue a career in the wine industry. Brian started buying wine from auction at 18 years old in between working in the mining industry in Western Australia. At one stage he had about 4 dozen boxes of 2nd growth Bordeaux stashed under the bed courtesy of the white shoe brigade of entrepreneurs losing all their money after the ‘87 crash and ensuing recession. Getting stunning Bordeaux (‘78’s and ‘82’s) for around $35 a bottle seemed like a good thing at the time, he only wishes he kept a few. In 1996 Brian travelled to London working at Oddbins and continued in retail upon returning home managing numerous wine stores in Fremantle before deciding to pursue a vintage in California in ‘99. After having the best three months of his life and making some life long friends (Gary Mills, James Lance and Dan Standish) Brian knew he wanted to continue getting his hands dirty making wine. A few vintages in Margaret River and the Yarra Valley set him up for a double vintage in France firstly in Beaujolais and then to Alsace. The vintage in Beaujolais cemented his career path meeting now business partner Craig Isbel and creating Izway wines.