Meet the makers

Nigel Dolan, Dolan Family Wines

Exciting wines born out of a winemaking dynasty stretching back over sixty years.

Dolan Family Wines, Barossa Valley

Dolan Family Wines draws on the rich and proud winemaking experience of three generations of the Dolan Family.


The Dolans are the only family to win the Jimmy Watson Trophy (Australia’s most prestigious wine Trophy) an incredible three times. Nigel Dolan (who founded Dolan Family Wines in 2007) won it in 1992 and again in 2003. His dad, legendary winemaker Bryan Dolan (the man responsible for establishing the reputations of Stonyfell and Metala) won the very first Jimmy Watson Trophy in 1962.


Today, Nigel’s son Tim helps craft every bottle of Dolan Family Wine. It seems highly likely that one day Tim will be hoisting aloft the prized Jimmy Watson Trophy.

Nigel’s favourite wine moment

1. 1927 Stonyfell Claret my father Bryan opened for me and a small group of fellow Roseworthy students. Intended as a demonstration of what happens if a wine is "over the hill", amazingly it was magnificent – layers of character and complexity, but still with life and vibrancy. That one bottle said a lot. An inspiration.


2. 1962 Domaine de la Romanee – Conti LaTache. Opened by the late and dear Len Evans OBE, legend, friend and mentor. Poured casually on his verandah for me and a small group. As was his way he presented it in a decanter and we had to guess what it was. No-one got close, but we were all impressed. It was artwork in a bottle, and typical of the generosity and guidance Len could provide.

Nigel’s winemaking Philosophy

1. Innovate, be prepared to take a different view on things. Be prepared to try a different way.

2. Respect, maintain the integrity of the variety and region of the wine.

3. Vision, have clarity of the outcome you are looking for.

Handcrafted wines, prized by collectors

Dolan Family Wines is Nigel’s passion. The wines are made from small parcels of premium fruit from South Australia’s finest regions – Langhorne Creek, Barossa Valley and Clare Valley. Not surprisingly, these lovingly handcrafted wines are only available in very limited quantities.


The Langhorne Creek Shiraz is made from an historic vineyard that Nigel has used for over 22 years. He’s forged a close connection and friendship with the owner, which gives Nigel guaranteed access to the highly prized fruit – it’s considered one of Langhorne Creek’s finest vineyards. Each new release references the number of years that Nigel has worked with the vineyard.