So during one very long lunch, an idea came to us…
One professional winemaker, one professional wine drinker and both with a love of a good time, the conversation, over a considerably long lunch turned to what best lunches and dinners we had enjoyed over the years.
From that discussion, an idea crystalised that with our combined experiences, we can share some of our knowledge and develop some creative food and wine experiences that we would love.
When creating an event, the one rule we have is that if we wouldn’t want to attend then the event isn’t good enough and the idea doesn’t progress.
We only want to have a great time and to share that time with our guests. Showing off incredible food, cooked by passionate people, matched with wines produced by the most talented winemakers.
The MoonDuck iconography is inspired by the full moon witnessed in the Pyrenees sky.
The Moon is thirty times the diameter of Earth; its apparent size in the sky is not dissimilar to the Sun, therefore the Moon covers the Sun nearly precisely during a solar eclipse.To watch the Moons endless dance is one of life’s great pleasures.
There is no greater game bird than the Peking Duck – a perfect partner to enjoy with Pinot Noir, which reaches its apogee when grown in the Burgundy wine region in France.
The Holy Grail.
I have known Wezza on and off for several years, but something in my life happened, which made me notice this generous man.
The story goes like this;
I had an uncle who I was very close to. His name was Baden Jones, Dads brother. Baden was an electrical contractor in Ballarat, like Wezza, and one of the good guys.
Baden was a funny, gregarious, soul who did two things for me throughout my life. He was a mentor of mine and a great family man who was always planning and looking forward to the next family celebration.
The other thing Baden did was to be an exceptional brand ambassador for the Dalwhinnie wine brand of which my mother and father established in 1976.
The rumour goes that Baden used to tell all of his friends and acquittances that that Dalwhinnie was his own wine company and many people actually believed this story.
Anyway, Baden had a great love of food and wine and religiously would ask me along to the beefsteak and burgundy nights of the Ballarat club to discuss fine wine and food. As time rolled on Baden became sick succumbed to a respiratory lung infection on the 1st of April 2015.
This is where Wezza stepped up.
Through Baden and Wezza’s electrical contracting business they had a lot in common throughout the Ballarat building network. So, to my surprise, it was a great pleasure to listen to Wezza speak so eloquently and fondly of Baden Jones life at the Mitchell Harris Wine Bar in Ballarat at Baden’s wake.
Wezza spoke of the sharing of resources when a big Ballarat company needed help after being smashed by a Christmas hail storm of which there were a few. Wezza spoke of the humanity of Baden and how entertaining he was but more importantly, he spoke of Margaret, Baden’s wife, the three grown-up children and all the grandchildren. I don’t think Wezza missed a single family member or a close friend talking about Baden’s life.
I thought this was so good to have Wezza give this speech for Baden’s last hurrah.
Wezza and I became close friends after this and would often share a long lunch together whenever time permitted. Wezza is also an entrepreneur with an eye for the weird and wonderful. For example, he and his wife Rebecca have just purchased a boat shed on Lake Wendouree in Ballarat which is to be the head office for Moonduck events, our company.
So all in all Wezza McKnight is a good man to have on the team, a close friend and a great lunch companion. ‘Salute’ wezza.
David grew up in regional Ballarat Victoria and was educated at Ballarat Grammar. After gaining a carpentry apprenticeship and subsequently completing his training he took his first direction change.
Off to work at Yellowglen winery. Located in Smysthdale 25 minutes outside of Ballarat. Learning all he could working in all aspects of the production of what was then some of the best sparkling wines made in Australia.
David’s father Ewan a renowned architect of some fame began growing some grapes in a tiny town just minutes out of Moonambel an hour and fifteen minutes north West
A remote site not far from the then newly minted winery of Taltarni. Dalwhinnie wines were born on this site and it is
where David began growing and making his own wine some 35 years ago.
With David’s wife Jenny they made a life for themselves in the tiny town of Moonambel. Building a house educating three children and building the Dalwhinnie brand.
Building a purpose-built tasting room and winery taking in the benefit of the height of the site that shows off the view of the entire Pyrenees valley finished off the journey.
Listed as a Langton’s Exceptional wine and a five-star rated wine by Halliday, to this day Dalwhinnie holds an enviable position in the Australian wine industry. David’s opus wine arguably is the 2000 Eagle Series Shiraz. This wine proved that Dalwhinnie sat at the highest level of cool-climate
Fast forward to 2020, David and Jenny were ready for the next challenge and Dalwhinne was sold to a large Australian family-owned wine company to take Dalwhinnie off to new greater and expanded horizons.
This new direction allows David to share his voluminous knowledge about grapes, vines, food, wine and
how to have a good time! I met David via his father with whom I worked with on many projects in my earlier career. David has
inherited his father’s sense of humor and love of a good time.
We have this in common.
My time with David has been filled with boisterous laughter, copious hours “benchmarking” (read: drinking!) wine and tasting the best food. David’s passion is food and wine. He has introduced me to some of the best chef’s, winemakers and farmers in Australia. Nothing can replace 35 years’ experience near the top of the Australian wine industry. I have learnt so
much from David. I am very excited to share
these times with you!