Adam Foster

Adam has always had an interest in food and wine. Whilst spending many of his years completing a chef’s apprenticeship and working in some of Victoria and London’s best kitchens he also maintained an interest in Front of House activities – particularly the cellars and wine lists.

In 2002 Foster decided to give up ‘chefing’ to immerse himself in the winemaking process. Since then his experience in the industry has been quite diverse and somewhat unconventional.

Foster didn’t study viticulture, marketing or communications but has a natural instinct for all three. His original training was in food and we credit his understanding of flavours and combinations to his highly trained palette and “in the trenches”  training with the best.

Fosters unadulterated passion for wine came from the early days working shifts at Walters Wine Bar. He concentrated his efforts particularly on French and Australian Rhone styles. He had the privilege of working with some of what he considers to be the most outstanding wineries in Australia and France such as Torbreck, Chapoutier, Mitchelton, Heathcote Winery, Domaine Ogier & Jasper Hill.

During these studies Foster included extensive travels throughout Europe learning and discovering some of the most outstanding regions and labels firsthand.

With the guidance and support of people such as Ron Laughton, Don Lewis, Stephane Ogier, Jono Mepham, & Pierre Gaillard, Foster released his first vintage of Heathcote Shiraz in 2004 with only 100 cases.

Nicknamed L’Imposter by the French, he’s been learning the tricks of syrah in situ and applying all the know-how to his Australian winemaking projects, Syrahmi and Foster e Rocco (in association with Melbourne sommelier, Lincoln Riley). Adam Foster won the 2008/2009 YGOWA People’s Choice champion and when not making wine, he’s consulting to restaurants, making a ton of salami!



Lincoln Riley

Born and raised among the vineyards of Bendigo, Victoria, I worked in regional venues and developed a strong interest in the wines of the region at an early age.

Then I moved to the city and joined the very popular Donovans in St Kilda where I was well and truly bitten by the wine bug and developed a particular love of Italian varietals.

Kevin Donovan gave me my first crack at running a wine list at age 23 and so started the vinous journey, a stint in London along with travels through many of the great regions of Europe laid further foundations to my ongoing passion for all things vinous. But in particular food orientated varietals such as Sangiovese.

Since 1998, I have had vast experience in the wine and food industry, both in Australia and Europe. This included positions at Hakkasan and Boxwood Cafe in London and most recently as Head Sommelier at Taxi Dining Room and now the iconic Stokehouse on St Kilda beach.

Through pounding the boards in a number of great but all very different restaurants, I decided he wanted to make a wine. The wines he was passionate about making were those that are food friendly and above all are interesting to the guest. I wanted to make a wine, that he loved selling on the restaurant floor.

So in 2007, with long-term sommelier and friend Adam Foster we decided to make a wine together. They had a very clear vision: a food-friendly wine based on the versatility of Sangiovese. This is when they established Foster e Rocco. They made their first wine at Syrahmi, building it from the ground up, with fermentation in both stainless steel and a mixture of older French oak barrels.

I believes my role as a sommelier and a winemaker is an educational one, and I have watched as diners have become increasingly receptive to new tastes and grape varietals.