WHEN Anton Therkildsen moved to Rutherglen for a 12-week job just shy of 25 years ago, little did he know he was here for the long run.
He stayed at Campbells Wines for five years, married and started his own vineyard nearby in 2001.
Within six years Mr Therkildsen was processing his own grapes in a new strawbale winery at Wahgunyah under the Valhalla Wines brand.
This month Valhalla Wines will close its winery and cellar door to shift production to Beechworth.
Mr Therkildsen said the new business model came about owing to the global pandemic.
He said the COVID-19 crisis had challenged all sectors but also highlighted the importance of prioritising family.
"In the last few weeks, I have had to isolate myself as a close contact and several members of my family have had COVID-19," he said.
"During the lockdowns and tumultuous times, I've had time to reflect on how Valhalla Wines can continue in a way that is sustainable, and still brings joy to the customer and myself."
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Mr Therkildsen said he would work in a collaborative winemaking space at Beechworth with the likes of Vignerons Schmolzer and Brown and Little Frances.
"We will all be working on our own wines but sharing labour, equipment and ideas," Mr Therkildsen said.
"The new model for Valhalla Wines will keep our production tiny and handcrafted with the ability to keep nimble and make interesting small-batch wines from a variety of vineyards.
"I will continue to challenge myself to create the best and most authentic reflections of the grapes that I have been blessed with in each vintage."
Mr Therkildsen said the Wahgunyah venture was a great chapter in his life.
He was proud of their sustainable ethos, which supported the Green Living Fair.
"It was a lovely part of our lives and lovely to have my kids grow up there; they're 18 and 20 now," he said.
"We're celebrating the end of an era but we're really looking forward to some fantastic new challenges and the opportunity to play with some new grapes."
Valhalla Wines was shortlisted for Dark Horse Winery of the Year in the 2022 Halliday Wine Companion Awards.
A wine warehouse sale will run at the Wahgunyah cellar door on Saturday and January 22, 10am to 4pm.
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