Our Story

Established in 1997 in the Yarra Valley, Giant Steps has built a reputation based on expressive wines with purity and finesse. The Giant Steps wines are a direct reflection of their individual vineyard sites, located across the Yarra Valley from Tarrawarra to Gladysdale.

Giant Steps was founded by wine industry pioneer Phil Sexton, who ventured from Margaret River to Yarra Valley to find the ideal site to cultivate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir of purity and finesse.

Phil found his holy grail near Gruyere in the Sexton vineyard, which he planted in 1997 on the steep slopes of the Warramate Ranges. A mad jazz fan, Phil named the winery after John Coltrane’s album and fitting metaphor “Giant Steps.”

In 2003, Winemaker Steve Flamsteed came aboard, and the two set about producing a range of iconic Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays that express a profound sense of place from six finite sites in Yarra Valley.

"I've been tasting and drinking these wines for a seriously long time, and that's because I've loved them forever." - Winemaker, Mel Chester

For Melanie Chester, who became Head of Winemaking and Viticulture at Giant Steps in 2021, this long-held admiration for the winery comes with an intrinsic pressure to honour the expressions and diversity of its single sites. This means keeping the winemaking tight and transparent, so that diversity of site is what you taste. “The wines will never look the same because the vineyards continue to change,” she explains, “but we are committed to ensuring that the quality will be the same if not better.”

For more than 20 years, Giant Steps has been advancing Australia’s reputation for cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. But we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that a huge part of our story is you, our loyal followers. Thank you to the heights of Bastard Hill and beyond for the love. 

Enthusiast Top 100
#1 – Applejack Pinot Noir 2020’ 2022
Wine Spectator Top 100
#18 – Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2021’ 2022
Wine & Spirits Top 100
2022, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013
Halliday Top 5
Halliday Top 5
Best Shiraz Trophy - 2022 Tarraford Vineyard Syrah, Best Cabernet Sauvignon Trophy - 2022 Sexton Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Most Successful Exhibitor Trophy - Giant Steps
The Len Evans Memorial Perpetual Trophy for Best Single Vineyard Wine - 2022 Applejack Vineyard Pinot Noir
The Dr Bill Ryan Best Pinot Noir of Show, The Stodart Trophy for Best Red Table Wine of Show, The Angelo Puglisi Grand Champion Wine of Show - 2022 Sexton Vineyard Pinot Noir

The Crew

Meet the Crew who make the wines

The Wines

Taste the Wines that make the brand

The Vineyards

See the vineyards that make the grapes