The James Halliday Wine Companion is the best-selling guide to wineries and wine in Australia. First published in 1986 and recognised nationally as an industry benchmark, Halliday meticulously revises each edition to provide up-to-the-minute information. Michael Telera is one of Halliday’s 2016 edition new entries, and he fondly recalls the inception of this passion for winemaking.

 “Mum and dad loved to entertain family and friends, and, growing up, there was always this interaction of wine, food, people and music,” Telera says. “It’s a beautiful culture that inspired me to learn the art of winemaking.”

Telera, who has plied his craft at Dr. George Milhaly’s Paradigm Hill Estate since 2008, manages and has redeveloped a vineyard, formally known as MLF (Mike and Lew’s Folly), to produce the Telera brand.

James Halliday describes Telera’s vineyard as “the smallest commercial winemaking business in Australia” and awarded the Red Hill site four and a half stars out of five. Telera’s 2013 Fume Sauvignon Blanc rated 95 points out of 100. It’s currently the highest rated Sauvignon Blanc on the Mornington Peninsula.

“James has given my brand a huge wrap in its first year,” Telera says. “The company I’m associating with is amazing. I feel extremely blessed to be part of this winemaking community. George, David Lloyd, Nat White, and Hugh Robinson have been generous in sharing their philosophies to allow me to further my winemaking education.”

With expansion plans on the horizon, Telera is excited by what the future holds.

 “Winemaking is a privilege, and it would be remiss of me not to be faithful to that philosophy. Yes, I want to make a great drop of wine, but I just feel lucky when I think about the opportunity I’ve got – the opportunity to help promote the Mornington Peninsula. It inspires me.

“I’ve got an extraordinary mentor in Dr. George Mihaly, and he has been instrumental and very supportive to ensure the tradition continues in some way.”

Passing on the baton and honouring lineage are axioms that resonate strongly with Telera. His ancestry, dating as far back as the 1500’s, is encapsulated by the family crest, etched on every bottle of Telera wines.

 As one of the Mornington Peninsula’s next generation of winemakers, Telera wants to leave an indelible mark.

“I want to create an experience with the wine I produce; I don’t want people to forget it,” Telera says. The pursuit has always been to find a symphony in a glass.”

© Frank Greco 2015