Justin Jarrett is a pioneer of the Orange viticulture industry and proud owner of See Saw Wine. Born in Canberra, he then moved to Young to run a geese farm and grow cherries. In 1991, he moved to Orange to continue running the geese farm but was also looking for a new project. His lifelong ambition was to run 10,000 sheep at the back of Bourke but he has instead invested his time and passion into one of the region’s most successful biodynamic vineyards.
Justin completed a degree in Systems Agriculture, which was based on Holistic Agriculture and which was ground breaking in its time. The degree prepared Justin for his future career path, and coupled with his interest in organics and biodynamics it has according to Justin “formulated the way I think and see the world”.
As soon as they bought Springvale, a property just out of Orange on the Cargo Road, Justin & his wife Pip began contributing to the community in which they now lived. Justin worked for Landcare for three years as the Regional Coordinator. In Justin’s opinion:
“This role demonstrated how the community could come together, along with how much destruction can be caused through mismanagement”.
After buying Springvale, Pip and Justin carried out a full business plan, in which they were looking at growing apples, proteas or grapes; After some previous experience growing grapes in Young, Justin planted the vineyard. They went on to approach Southcorp who offered them a contract to grow grapes. The first grapes were planted in 1995 on his dad’s property called Coolepark.
During that time, Justin also started the Brown Egg Company, but he was also expanding and planting more vineyard. The first wines that were made were chardonnay and sauvignon blanc in 1999, proudly branded Jarretts of Orange.
“As time has gone by, what we have realised is that we planted more vineyard then we needed originally. However now the Orange labels based here in the region are expanding and using more and more Orange grapes, and in time the region will become totally independent of major wine companies coming into the region to buy our fruit.
“Since then there has been a fundamental shift in the region, when we all first start in the wine industry we all worked together because we didn’t have the knowledge, however with the development of the region’s promotions, the producers realised they all needed to do it better, they needed to improve our viticulture processes and wine making, marketing and presentation, if it means the region will survive.
Justin believes the phenomenal and growing success of Orange as an emerging food and wine destination has been in its promotion through events such as the Orange Wine Festival and Orange F.O.O.D Week.
“Orange is a cosmopolitan region. If we all still can stick to improving our quality, delivering the truth of it, and working together the region will continue to leap ahead.”
Find out more about Justin & Pip Jarrett and See Saw Wine