Michael O’Brien, Managing Director of the Australian family-owned Celestial Bay Winery was recently in the country to host various wine tastings courtesy of their primary Kenyan distributor, Makkin Ltd.
Talking wine with Michael O’Brien is ever so slightly intimidating as he is just so conversant with the subject matter. He has been in the industry for 25 years after all. Michael is the Managing Director of the family-owned winery The Celestial Bay, located approximately 300km south of Perth, Australia. He informs me that that his passion is what got him into the business back in 1999. With help of his family, he bought 210 acres of land at Margaret River, South West Western Australia. He chose the area because of the richness of the soil and proximity to the ocean, making it a perfect location for viticulture.
Being a family oriented business, the day to day activities are ran by their son Aaron O’Brien, a graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Viticulture and Oenology. Michael also attributes the growth of the Winery to their partnership with Bernard Abbott, a renowned winemaker with experience from 22 vintages in both Margaret River and France, and who has also been able to produce great handcrafted wines from premium fruits that reflects the Celestial Bay vineyard. With a production of close to 600 tonnes wine, the vineyard exports to five countries including the USA, Hong Kong, Singapore, China and Kenya. They produce Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Malbec, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.
Michael believes East Africa to be the next forefront. Since starting distributing in Kenya back in 2010 in partnership with Makkin, a wine company that exclusively distributes and markets Australian Wines and Wineries in Kenya, the reception has been great and he is hopeful for better growth in coming years.
Being his first time in Kenya, Michael was so pleased by the curiosity of the people he presented his wines to during the various wine tastings hosted around the city. He also stressed his surprise at how much he got to enjoy Kenyan food, and looks forward to continued distribution of Celestial Bay wines in Kenya. With the festive season coming along- take advantage of holiday offers of up to 30% off by Makkin on all Celestial Bay wines, located at Lavington Green Mall