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Singlefile Wines

Claire Bateman
11 July 2024 | Claire Bateman

Meet Jo, Denmark's Busiest Retiree

Meet Jo, a much-loved member of our Denmark team. Working in the Cellar Door providing wine tastings to our guests, Jo has found a rewarding part-time role which pulled her away from her Denmark retirement plan!

Jo had enjoyed holidaying in the Great Southern for years, and when life in Perth started feeling too busy, she had decided on Denmark as the place she wanted to retire. “We just loved it here,” she explains. “It felt like where we wanted to be. So I have been a regular visitor to the Singlefile Cellar Door since it opened in 2011, and bought too many bottles of Run Free Cuvée to count!” 

After finally moving down to their place in Denmark in 2019, Jo happened to see an advertisement for a Cellar Door position the next year. Despite being newly retired from a forty year teaching career, the idea of working in a winery began to take hold, and Jo joined the team in November 2020.

A job worth quitting retirement for

Jo came on board just before the busy Christmas holiday period, made even busier as it was during the height of WA’s pandemic border closures. Despite not having a lot of prior wine knowledge, Jo credits her Singlefile colleagues for helping her get up to speed on Great Southern wines and feel comfortable in the tasting room. “The best thing about working for Singlefile is the amazing team - everyone has each other’s back, and it is always such fun in the Cellar Door,” she says. “In those early days, which were so busy, Ian, Trix, Sage and Kat really helped me find my feet and offered a lot of mentorship.”

Now, regular training sessions in the Cellar Door help the team keep up to date on a range of topics - from various wine styles to winemaking techniques and the diverse terroir of the Great Southern. “It’s intellectually inspiring,” Jo explains. “And I feel the same way about the visitors to the Cellar Door - I have such interesting chats with people from all walks of life, and learn some fascinating things along the way.”

Jo also adores the beauty of the Singlefile property - the views and the changing seasons, and even how the light changes during a single day. “That golden hour at the end of the day, when we are packing up, is pretty magical. The geese come wandering down, and the karris are glistening in the light.”

Making Denmark her home

After calling herself a Denmark local for nearly five years now, Jo enjoys the eclectic and diverse community of her chosen hometown, which is a reflection of the natural surroundings. “Denmark is incredibly diverse - an amazing place where bush meets beach. You can walk through bushland, hike the local peaks, or jump into the sea and swim.”

For a very small town, Jo is impressed that there is always something to do, or a community group to join. Aside from working in Singlefile’s Cellar Door, Jo also undertakes regular training and volunteers her time as an Emergency Medical Technician and ambulance driver, enjoys playing golf, and is President of the local woodturner’s group. (You will be able to see some of her handiwork on display as the serving boards for our new gin tasting experience at the Cellar Door!)

Jo’s top local picks for a great dinner out would be Pepper & Salt restaurant at Forest Hill winery (“Even better because we can walk home!”, she says) and Flame Trees in Denmark town, which has a lovely cosy vibe. 

When opening a bottle of wine, Jo has always loved the Run Free Serendipity Cuvée, but now her wine of choice is Singlefile’s Family Reserve Chardonnay, which she says can be savoured slowly and enjoyed at leisure - the ideal wine for an actual retirement, whenever it eventually comes!



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