TRIBUTES have been paid to a celebrated wine maker who worked with Laverstoke Park Farm for ten years.

Tony Jordan died last month following a short battle with cancer, having worked in the wine industry since 1974.

The 75-year-old from Australia began a working relationship with Jody Scheckter, owner of Laverstoke Park Farm, ten years ago.

Jody, a former Formula One world champion, was looking for an expert to help create a sparkling wine for Laverstoke and Tony came highly recommended.

Paying tribute to Tony, Jody said: “We will miss him at Laverstoke, not only because we have won more awards with our sparkling wine than we ever thought we could, he was someone I relied on totally and I’ll miss the firm discussions we had in good spirit. My and our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time.”

Tony visited the north Hampshire farm twice a year, travelling from Australia with his wife to work with the team on their sparkling wine.

Clare Scheckter, Jody’s wife, said: “Tony was instrumental in how the blends worked between the varieties. He set up a tasting for us in the early days to find out what we would like and there were 24 different bottles to taste. I have never experienced anything like that. He started off with the cheap end prosecco and went through to sparkling Champagnes and wines from all over the world and we decided our preference was for non-vintage French Champagne sparkling wine and that’s what he developed for us.”

Clare said Tony and Jody worked well together, explaining: “He had very fixed ideas and if he didn’t like something there was no diplomacy and I think that’s why him and Jody got on because they both just say it as it is and if you’re offended that’s your problem. They formed a close friendship and working relationship.”

She added: “He was so well respected and everyone liked him. He had a really good way of working with people.”

Clare credited Tony with the success of Laverstoke’s wines, which have won numerous awards including its 2013 Vintage Brut Biodynamic English Sparkling Wine which was awarded Gold in the 2019 Independent English Wine Awards.

Tony began his career as a lecturer in physical chemistry and wine science, before becoming managing director of a winery in the Yarra Valley in 1987. He went on to become CEO of various companies and consulted at the Chandon wineries worldwide.

Tony was often on judging panels, including the Champagne and Sparkling Wine Championships.