Meet the Team


Shadowfax’s engine room is made up of some highly motivated, talented and dedicated staff members who help make everything run like clockwork.

From our vineyard team who work tirelessly throughout the year; our wonderful green thumb Ruby who tends our Kitchen Garden; our friendly Cellar Door staff who look after everyone that passes through our doors with good food and wine; our team of passionate chefs who love to create exceptional food using local seasonal produce; and last our army of exceptional growers, brewers, distillers and suppliers who all help to make Shadowfax what it is.

Alister Timms

Winemaker & Vineyard Manager

No stranger to the world of winemaking, Alister grew up on his family’s vineyards on the Bellarine Peninsula, planting vines at the age of 10.

With a science degree from Melbourne University, Alister went on to study Oenology at the University of Adelaide and graduated in 2001.

Shortly after completing this second degree, Alister started working at Shadowfax as Assistant Winemaker, a position he held for three years before moving back home to run his family’s winery Kilgour Estate.

In 2008, Alister returned to Shadowfax to manage the winery’s vineyards and establish the Little Hampton property in the Macedon Ranges, whilst working as Assistant Winemaker. Less than 10 years later, in October 2017, Alister became Chief Winemaker.

Ko Hironaka

Viticulturist

After obtaining his law degree from Nihon University in Tokyo, Ko worked as an electrician before moving to Sydney in 1998. 

With a keen interest in wine, Ko worked at Ultimo Wine Centre and undertook short wine courses as well as signing up to be a vintage cellar hand in the Hunter Valley. He went on to work at wineries in Tasmania, Victoria, NSW and Washington DC, including seven and a half years at Kooyong Estate on the Mornington Peninsula. 

 At this time, Ko shifted his focus from winemaking to viticulture as he became interested in biodynamic, organic and biological farming methods in the vineyard. 

After Ko completed his master’s degree in Viticulture & Wine Technology at the University of Melbourne in 2014, he spent time in the Canberra district learning about these practices at Lark Hill, and then at Mac Forbes in the Yarra Valley.

Ko joined the Shadowfax wine team in 2020 and looks after the vineyards in the Macedon Ranges and Werribee. Working closely with winemaker Alister Timms, Ko is most interested in a flexible biological approach that focusses on a balance of vine and soil health.

Brad Gledhill

Assistant Winemaker & Vineyard Assistant

Brad has recently joined the Shadowfax wine team after working at vineyards in the Adelaide Hills, Hunter Valley and Bannockburn, as well as numerous harvests in Italy, France, New Zealand, Canada and Oregon.  

A dentist for 26 years with a long-standing passion for wine, in 2011 Brad decided to move away from full-time dentistry and add a Master of Oenology from The University of Adelaide to his CV. He now devotes most of his time to winemaking while still spending a few months a year working as a locum dentist throughout Australia.

Brought up in Gisborne, Brad is a firm believer in the potential for the Macedon Ranges to produce Australia's best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Simon Langton

Assistant Winemaker & Vineyard Assistant

Simon has been a regular fixture in the winery at Shadowfax since he left school in 2006. After gaining invaluable experience and wine knowledge working at Langton’s Fine Wine Auctions, Simon realised his passion for winemaking and became a permanent part of the Shadowfax team.

When Simon’s not working hard in the winery or vineyards, he’s travelling the world to do vintage at wineries in New Zealand, America and Europe. His latest stints include Vinlink in Marlborough NZ and William Selyem Sonoma in California.

Phil Strachan

General Manager

Originally from Aberdeen in Scotland, Phil has lived and travelled around most of Europe and South America finally moving to Australia in 2006.

After studying Business and Accountancy at the University of Westminster, Phil worked in Public Practice and the digital animation industry in the UK.

Following numerous trips to the great wineries surrounding Melbourne, Phil embarked on a career in the wine industry spending six years at Langton’s Auctions as the Finance Manager before taking the position of General Manager at Shadowfax in 2013.

A family man with two children, Phil loves all sports, especially Scottish football (the round ball).

Ben D’Arcy

Head Chef

Having worked in some of Melbourne’s leading restaurants and hotels including The Stokehouse, Becco, The Argo, Lindrum and Le Meridian for the past 14 years, Ben’s skills in the kitchen are highly tuned.

With great adaptability and dedication to creating high-quality dishes using the best available seasonal produce, Ben knows how to produce great produce and is thriving in his role as Head Chef of Shadowfax, a position he has held since early 2012.

Matthew Ehmke

Restaurant & Cellar Door Manager

Matthew’s hospitality career has spanned 15 years, working with the best restaurateurs, winemakers and managers in the hospitality industry.

With 10 years experience in front of house positions at The Rocks in Mornington, Montalto Vineyard and Ten Minutes By Tractor in Red Hill, Donovans and Richmond Hill Café & Larder, Matthew moved to Melbourne in 2011 and refined his craft at St Kilda’s landmark restaurant, Donovans, before moving on to Stephanie Alexander’s Richmond Hill Cafe and Larder.

Since 2013, Matthew has overseen Shadowfax's busy restaurant and cellar door and with his can-do attitude, outstanding service skills and attention-to-detail, he has established it as one of Melbourne’s must-experience food and wine destinations.

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