The story behind Mollydooker is one of highs and heartbreaks. Despite an illustrious winemaking career establishing the brands of Henry’s Drive, Parson’s Flat, Shirvington and Marquis Philips of which all were very successful, it has been a road of feast and famine for Sarah and Sparky Marquis. The Marquis Philips brand found huge favour with Robert Parker Jnr who wrote, ‘The greatest red wine values in existence…Run, don’t walk and secure as much as you can of these wines’. Demand became insatiable with production exploding from 8,000 to 120,000 cases overnight however disaster struck when their American business partner conducted a dodgy deal and subsequently lost all their money as quickly as they had made it.
In March 2006, armed with enormous talent, unwavering faith and $1,000 in the bank, Sarah and Sparky, with the support of their family and friends, began to conceptualize the Mollydooker brand. The first wines of Mollydooker, which is Australian slang for left-hander of which both Sarah and Sparky are oriented, were bottled however the money had run out and the wines were not yet labeled. Shortly after, an angel dressed as an Adelaide businessman who had heard about their plight, arrived at the winery with a cheque in hand to save the day.
Three months later, The Wine Advocate chose The Boxer as the Best Value Red Wine in the World, the Two Left Feet as the second, and the Maitre D’ as the fourth. These wines sold out in nineteen days, and all the debts were paid off.
In August of 2006, The Wine Advocate ratings were published with the Carnival of Love earning 99 / 100 by Parker and Enchanted Path 96 / 100. Within five days of release, the wines had sold out and Mollydooker was back on its feet and ever since, it has been a story of phenomenal success. Sarah and Sparky now have more wines of 94 Parker points and above than any other winemakers in the world. The Velvet Glove is the fifth wine of Mollyooker to be awarded 99 points, the Carnival of Love has twice been in the Wine Spectator’s Top Ten wines in the World, the Blue Eyed Boy is featured in the Qantas President’s Lounge and in Morton’s Steak Houses, and the demand for The Boxer is so huge, that from 2011, it will have its own special release day.
Sarah and Sparkly attribute their success to working from the heart and never compromising on their mission statement, which is ‘To make wines which make people go WOW’.