CHEERS: Moffatdale Ridge Winery and Club Hotel, Kingaroy owners, Jason and Sue Kinsella.
CHEERS: Moffatdale Ridge Winery and Club Hotel, Kingaroy owners, Jason and Sue Kinsella. Contributed

Winery owners devour next big challenge

TWENTY years ago, Moffatdale Ridge Winery owners Jason Kinsella and his wife Susan thought it would be a good idea to open a winery, the only problem was they knew absolutely nothing about wine.

"We didn't even drink wine,” Mr Kinsella said.

The hard working pair, who were 26 at the time, started the winery after being unsure of what to do with the 360 acre property owned by Susan's grandfather from almost a century ago.

"It was too big for a hobby farm but too small to make a living from traditional agriculture,” he said.

The first vines were planted in 1996 with wine production commencing in 2001.

Mr Kinsella said the first 10 years were particularly hard but they were always prepared to give it their all.

"I believe if you want to survive on the island, you have to burn your boat,” he said.

The hard work has definitely paid off, going by recent popular events such as the 2018 Moffatdale Ridge Winery Italian Festival.

The Kinsellas have now started a brand new challenge, with the recent take over of the Club Hotel in Kingaroy.

"We definitely have a lot to learn but the key for us is continuing to build relationships like we always have,” Mr Kinsella said.

"All the other pubs in town are doing a great job so it was hard for us to find a point of difference.”

Mr Kinsella will be sharing some of his business secrets at the next Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce and Industry meet and greet event on Tuesday, September 18 from 5.15pm.

The new Club Hotel owner will be joined at the business networking event by a representative from the South Burnett Regional Council who will provide an update on recent council activities as well as Daniel Pelcl, general manager of the South Burnett Times who will discuss the upcoming 'Town Proud' promotion.

A $10 meeting fee applies and drinks and nibbles will be served, both KCCI members and non members are welcome to attend.