Balancing the Grind with Angus Wardlaw, Head Winemaker & Operations Manager at Millon Wines

Angus Wardlaw is Head Winemaker of Millon Wines, a family-owned, South Australian winery dedicated to world class winemaking.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I have worked in the wine industry since 2009. I started my career as a Cellar Hand in the Barossa Valley after graduating high school, and in 2013 I got an Assistant Winemaking and Cellar Manager role in the Clare Valley.

In 2016 I was promoted to Winemaker and have since occupied a winemaking position. I started my current role at Millon Wines between Clare Valley and Barossa Valley in 2018 in my capacity as Head of Operations and Head Winemaker. 

2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

Life for me has recently changed since the arrival of our first child, our son named George. George is now one year old, and my mornings always start with him! After George, I always get my coffee from my favourite coffee shop to start my day.

This time of year is vintage, so I would then look at the vineyards and taste the fruit from the vines, and finish at the winery where I will check the ferments and create a plan of action for each wine. 

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

Outside of vintage, my current role definitely allows for flexible and remote working. During vintage however, it is paramount I am at the winery to oversee the fruit coming in and to maintain the wines at all stages of the winemaking process. Vintage time definitely puts a strain on work and home balance as days are long, sometimes exceeding 15 hours. 

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

Work-life balance to me means managing the push and pull between my commitments at work, and my roles outside of work such as parent and partner. Work-life balance is all about prioritising the most paramount thing of each day, and then being flexible with everything else. To achieve this goal, I keep an open mindset and respond to each day as it comes.  

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

My routine has certainly changed since the birth of George. This means early waking, sometimes little sleep at night, and in general, just being completely at the mercy of a little human! My morning coffee routine sometimes involves an extra shot.

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts, or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

If I’m not working, I am spending time with my family so there’s little time for books, podcasts, and newsletters. I like to read the menu from my favourite Vietnamese restaurant.

7) Are there any products, gadgets, or apps that you can’t live without?

I keep it simple when it comes to technology! I can’t live without having accessible emails.

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

Rene Redzepi – a Danish Chef and co-owner of three Michelin star restaurants Noma in Denmark, the number 1 restaurant in the world. He is one of the best at his crafts and is also a father.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.