Richie Allen was raised in Melbourne, Australia, in a leafy suburb approximately 40 minutes east of Australia’s infamous wine region, the Yarra Valley.
Influnced greatly by his parent’s keen interest, Richie grew up with a greater appreciation of wine than the average young Australian male.
Upon graduation from high school in 1996, Richie chose to explore his knowledge in an alternate area of interest: Molecular Biology. Always the model student, he graduated at the top of his class, however, not convinced with the path he was laying down for himself, Richie embarked on a four-month rock climbing holiday to the United States to clear his thoughts.
It was on this adventure that fate came knocking in the form of an invitation to a day of wine tasting. Richie was so taken and inspired by the Californian wines he tasted that day that it was suddenly clear to him what he needed to do.
He promptly returned to Australia and spent the next few years engrossed in winemaking studies at Australia’s prestigious ‘The University of Adelaide’.
After graduating in 2003, he then set about gaining as much practical winery experience as possible from top Australian and New Zealand producers including: Penfolds, Oakridge, Church Road and Vavasour. He eventually found himself back in California, on the doorstep of Rombauer Vineyards to undertake cellar work for a single harvest.
However, Richie’s enthusiasm, vast and growing knowledge, and attention to detail were keenly identified and he was asked to continue on at Rombauer to see this potential expertly developed and nurtured.
Having worked his way from the ground up, Richie now assumes the position of Rombauer’s Head Winemaker. In this role, Richie strives to achieve consistency of style and continual improvement in winemaking techniques by melding both traditional and modern approaches.
Away from the winery, you’re likely to find Richie pursuing his passion for rock climbing.