Lisa Margan was born in Sydney but made her ‘green change’ to the Hunter Valley when she married winemaker Andrew Margan. Her background includes teaching (Bachelor Education/ Applied Science) before re-training as a chef under respected chef, Robert Molines at his iconic restaurant, The Cellar.
In 1990, Lisa and Andrew set up home in Bordeaux, France: he, to make wine and she, to cook. Lisa worked as a private chef at wine house, Chateau de Sours and later at local restaurant Le St Martin lead by a michellin star chef. During these years, Lisa developed an appreciation for quality produce, technique and the unique appeal of dining in a premium wine region.
Upon returning to the Hunter, Lisa continued to develop her cooking skills as well as completed a Masters Degree in Science and nutrition, focusing on organic food production. This resulted in working within the public health sector (nutrition) until going on maternity leave with the third Margan child and ‘giving Andrew a hand’ with his newly launched wine brand, MARGAN. That was 1997 and she hasn’t made it out yet!
In 2007, the 10th year anniversary of Margan was celebrated with the opening of the Margan restaurant and tasting room at the winery and vineyard in Broke. This Wine Tourism aspect of the business is now an important part of Margan as it aims to provide visitors with a unique food and wine experience.
Today, Lisa and Andrew Margan are at the helm of a flourishing 35,000 case premium wine brand which is distributed throughout Australia and into 15 export markets. All grapes for the wine are Estate Grown from over 300 acres of quality Margan Vineyards and handcrafted on site in the Margan winery. All are available for tasting and sales in the Award Winning Margan tasting room.
The restaurant offers a seasonally inspired menu based around whatever is being harvested from the estate at the time. It uses fruit and vegetables from the pioneering ‘Margan Kitchen Garden and Orchard’ as well as free range eggs, honey, olives and now lambs from Margan flock of Suffolk and Dauper/ Border Leicester cross sheep. Lisa and Head Chef Michael Robinson have just launched their ‘Small goods Project’ producing prosciutto, salami, chorizo, pancetta etc. using local Bio Dynamic Berkshire pigs.
Lisa’s background in organic food production and the ethos of the business ensure that Margan ‘treads lightly’ in terms of its carbon footprint. Margan is now fully accredited with the Green Table Program and Entwine Australia (benchmarked to International Standards ISO 14001 for ‘best practice’) and among the most certified wine production business’ nationally.