General Manager Wine / Chief Winemaker
Coming home and full circle, Damian Hutton commenced his lifelong love affair with Wine in 1987, under the watchful eye of his Uncle Ron. Ron Page was Houghton’s Vineyard Manger and put Damian to work weeding the very vineyards he now returns to, as Nikola Estate’s Chief Winemaker and General Manager.
From 2007, Damian Hutton headed winemaking operations at Millbrook Winery as Senior Winemaker, creating regional wines from fruit sourced from all premium Western Australian wine growing regions, winning Gold medals in every capital city wine show in Australia and every regional wine show in WA.
Having to build Nikola’s core wine offering from a small “Estate” range, Damian plans to scour the West Australian wine landscape, to produce a portfolio of wines that truly reflects the greatness that lies in the diversity of Western Australia.
Matty’s first exposure to the world of wine occurred while working in retail liquor in the early 90s. The spark was lit when he was sent off by his employer to do the Wines of WA wine appreciation course.
The production of wine grapes became an area of great interest, particularly due to his farming background. To pursue his passion for this versatile fruit, Matty relocated to Margaret River in 1997 to study Viticulture via distance education at Charles Sturt University.
Working in Margaret River, Frankland River and in the wine regions surrounding Adelaide, he has been exposed to a variety of production systems and wine styles. His strong interest in sustainability and alternative varieties of wine make him a valuable addition to one of the state’s most historic winemaking sites, as this new brand continues to grow.
Marcello discovered wine as an Arts student while working in hospitality. After completing two vintages in Umbria, Italy in his early 20s, he became fascinated by wine production and enrolled in a Bachelor of Science (Viticulture & Oenology) upon his return to Australia.
While pursuing his studies, Marcello and his father purchased a run-down vineyard in the Mt Barker Sub-Region of the Great Southern, where he could finally start putting his knowledge to work. After landing a cellar hand role at West Cape Howe, working with classic varieties like Cabernet, Riesling, Chardonnay and Shiraz, he was promoted to Vintage Assistant Winemaker and spent three years in the Great Southern.
Upon falling in love and moving to Italy to get married, Marcello spent several years working for a couple of high-end producers in Umbria (Famiglia Cotarella) and Le Marche (Angeli di Varano) making modern wines out of an eclectic mix of French and Italian varieties.
Upon his return to Australia and with babies in tow, he worked a vintage at the historic Houghton’s Middle Swan winery, and then spent two years at Flying Fish Cove Winery in Margaret River as Production Winemaker, making wine for several award-winning, quality focused Margaret River producers. Since moving back to Perth, Marcello has relished making wine from our experimental plots of Montepulciano, Nero D’Avola and Arinto.
Nikola Estate Winemaking Team
We are so lucky to have such an experienced winemaking team here at Nikola Estate.
From Left to Right:
Marcello Fabretti: Winemaker
Matty Trent: Vineyard Manager
Pennie O'Neill: Cellarhand
Haydn Millard: Winemaker
Kate Winter: Laboratory Manager
Damian Hutton: Chief Winemaker & General Manager