The medal recognised Mr Hohnen's more than 45-year contribution to WA wine. David Hohnen completed formal training in winemaking and viticulture in California before returning to Western Australia in 1970 to develop a small vineyard on the outskirts of Margaret River. A grazing company, partly owned by his father John and run by his brother Mark, had diversified. This was to become Cape Mentelle Vineyards.
While the young vines grew, David took a job managing the vineyard at Taltarni, in Victoria. He returned to make the first commercial release for Cape Mentelle in 1976. In 1985 David received backing from Mark and other investors that saw Cape Mentelle establish Cloudy Bay in Marlborough, New Zealand. French Champagne House Veuve Clicquot bought into the company in 1990.
As Chief Executive, David guided the growth of both Cape Mentelle and Cloudy Bay until 2003, at which time he left to pursue personal interests in farming, grape growing and winemaking in Margaret River.
David's wealth of experience as a winemaker and viticulturist, with his grassroots approach to winemaking and his love of agriculture have guided the foundation and winemaking objectives of McHenry Hohnen wines and assisted with the promotion of the Margaret River region on an international level.
His focus has always been on producing top quality wines whilst adhering to natural, organic and biodynamic methods of grape growing and winemaking.
David's philosophy is that "if the grapes are grown in the right way from the start, the wine will essentially make itself."
He now consults with the winemakers and viticulturists throughout the winemaking process, lending his knowledge and experience to the process of creating the outstanding quality wines that McHenry Hohnen continues to produce, year after year.