Tod Dexter grew up with wine. A childhood friendship with one of Melbourne’s premium wine merchants, the Crittenden family, introduced him to the vast world of wine.
It was then no surprise that in 1974 after working a ski season in the US, Tod ended up in the Napa Valley where he spent a seven-year apprenticeship with one of California’s premium family wineries, Cakebread Cellars.
Tod moved home to Australia in January 1987 and after an extensive search, he and his wife Debbie bought a vineyard site at Tuerong on the Mornington Peninsula. Later that year, they planted their first 1.6 hectares of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Tod then joined Brian Stonier at Stonier Wines as head winemaker. Over the next ten years, Tod and Brian grew the company to become one of Australia’s premium producers of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. During this decade the wines Tod created received many accolades both at home and internationally, and the Dexter vineyard provided Stonier with reserve-grade fruit under the careful eye of Tod and Debbie.
During a formative trip to France in 2000, where they visited the most famous Pinot Noir producers in the world, Tod and Debbie gained a new respect for the concept of terroir and the responsibility to future generations in caring for the land. Tod also had reinforced to him the importance of attention to detail in both the vineyard and winery. This trip was what encouraged Tod and Debbie to take the next step and produce their own wine from the vineyard that they had established and cared for through its formative years. Thus, almost 20 years after the first vines in the Dexter vineyard were planted, Dexter Wines was born.