100th Monkey Vignerons
The 100th Monkey Vignerons is a paradigm shift in the behaviour of growing, buying and selling wine grapes in Australia.
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Why the Name?

100th Monkey Vigneron members love it when they can see questions forming on the lips of people hearing their distinctive name for the first time. According to legend, scientists who were studying monkeys in the early 1950s on the island of Koshima in Japan began dropping sweet potatoes in the sand for the monkeys to eat. The monkeys liked the spuds but frankly the sand was a bit of a turn off. They observed a young female solve the problem by washing her potatoes in a stream. She taught her mother and her playmates, who in turn showed the solution to their families. At one point, the scientists had counted 99 monkeys washing their sweet potatoes before eating them. Later that day the 100th monkey was observed washing its food. By nightfall, the practice spread so rapidly that nearly every member of the tribe was washing potatoes before eating them. It seemed that the 100th monkey was the critical number in the population required to change the behavior of the majority of the group.


The 100th Monkey Vignerons is a paradigm shift in the behaviour of growing, buying and selling wine grapes in Australia.

This new shift is founded on leading change via innovation, building competitive advantages, affiliations and teamwork.


Just as the sandy spuds made life difficult for the monkeys trying to stay fed, the well-worn model of the wine industry has been doing the same for grape growers for decades. Grape growers, particularly in the Riverland, find themselves at the bottom of a ‘sandy’, oversupplied chain, which makes it increasingly difficult for them to remain sustainable in an industry where they remain price takers. As the saying goes, “if we always do what we’ve always done we will always get what we’ve always got.”


A farmer growing grapes and selling to a winemaker has been an uncomplicated transitional process for the past 100 years. Rarely does the grower fully understand the market that the winemaker trades within, nor does the winemaker appreciate the challenges of the farmer. Leading change by bridging the gap between the grower and the winemaker will be a legacy of the 100th Monkey Vignerons.

What we do

The 100th Monkey Vignerons purpose is to evoke positive change via changing behaviour. With a clear focus on strengthening business, community, environment and the Australian Wine Industry, the 100th Monkey is a dawn of a new beginning.


The 100th Monkey Vignerons offerings include;


  • Quality wine grapes
  • Alternative grape varieties
  • Organically certified wine grapes
  • Vineyard investment opportunities
  • Vineyard management
  • Consultancy (viticulture/marketing/social media)
  • Partnership opportunities (research & development)
  • Grape supply

Organics/Alternative Varieties/New Clones

In time, the 100th Monkey Vignerons will be one of the largest growers of organically certified wine grapes in Australia. The aim will be to grow 1,500 tonnes of premium certified organic grapes by 2021. The Riverland’s dry and warm climatic conditions are perfect for organic management practices.


Alternative grape varieties have been a core competitive advantage for 100th Monkey foundation member Ricca Terra Farms. Grape varieties planted now and into the future will be selected on their adaptability to make wines of quality in the Riverland’s Mediterranean climate.


The diversification of grapevine clones in the Australian Wine Industry is an essential element of strengthening wine quality for the future. Already the 100th Monkey Vigneron’s foundations members have planted new clones of Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot. Future plantings of Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz and Chardonnay will all be new clones (note: new clones are defined as clones of grapevine not planted in mass).

Community & Environment

The foundation members of the 100th Monkey Vignerons have lived and contributed to the Riverland community for more than 100 years. Celebrating, building and fostering past, current and future community is at the heart of the 100th Monkey Vignerons. Giving back to the community and the Australian Wine Industry is a core purpose of the 100th Monkey Vignerons. This will be achieved via;


  • Partnering with key research bodies to further the understanding of growing grape in a sustainable manner
  • The 100th Monkey Vignerons Study Grant.
  • Coordinating seminars for grape growers and winemakers


Co-existing with a healthy environment is the highest priority of 100th Monkey Vignerons. The foundation members have contributed to the sustainability of the environment by replanting native vegetation, re-establishing wetlands to pre-European status and working closely with Landcare and the EPA.


100th Monkey Vignerons Cluster Group

The four foundation members of the 100th Monkey Vignerons have a vision to create a strong & vibrant future for business, community, family, environment and the Australian Wine Industry.

Click on the individual foundation member’s icons below to visit their webpages.

Cluster Group Members

  • Ricca Terra Farms

    Ricca Terra Farms is one of Australia's leading growers of alternative wine grape varieties. Winner of the ASVO and Gourmet Traveller Viticulturist of the Year.

  • Karelia Station

    Karelia Station is an environmentally conscious premium wine grape producer and wetland crusader

  • Liebich Family Vineyards

    Liebich Family Vineyards are a fifth generation farmers.....and growing grapes in some of the best soil in the Riverland

  • Sherwood Estates

    Sherwood Estates has a 100 years of farming history and is planning for another 100 years! One of the most progressive and respected farming families in the Riverland

100th Monkey Vignerons Board Members

Sue Bell  (Chair)

The owner and winemaker of Bellwether Wines and dux of the prestigious Len Evans Tutorial


Brett Proud

Pioneer of the first collaborative farming/viticulture enterprise in South Australia


Phil Reedman

The once Australian wine buyer for UK’s supermarket chain Tesco and a Master of Wine


Mick Saville

Co-owner of JMA engineering and custodian of Karelia Station


Steve Liebich

Business Manager and co-owner of one of South Australia’s largest family vineyards

Strategic Partners

“It’s a paradigm shift in the behaviour of growing, buying and selling wine grapes in Australia”

Strategic partners collaboratively working with the foundation members of the 100th Monkey Vignerons

Government of South Australia strategic partner
Morellofert strategic partner
Piper Alderman strategic partner
Eco Trellis strategic partner
Riverland Wine strategic partner
LEDA AG strategic partner
CIT strategic partner
Marketplace for wine professionals

Contact 100th Monkey

PO Box 305

Angaston, S.A, 5353

Email: banana@100thmonkeyvignerons.com.au

Phone: +61 (0) 429 788 717

‘it is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change’ (Charles Darwin)