The Purple Palate story has its origins in the private bar of our chairman Trevor Harch – a place that in the 1990s became the scene of many raucous nights as Trevor and his trouble-loving pals realised that there really was no drink that tasted as good as Barossa Shiraz.

(As a little-known aside, Trevor, the son of sober God-fearing farmers, was raised a teetotaller and didn’t build up a thirst until his late 30s.  He has since made up for lost time, but now prefers quality over quantity – a smart move!)

Anyone who knows Trevor is well aware that when he gets into something, he likes to dive in boots and all. So, after several years of visiting the Barossa and falling in love with the people, their history and their wines, he decided he may as well back up his passion by jumping on an opportunity to acquire the historic Tanunda Cellars wine store.

It was 1999, when Trevor installed Chris Atkins – a fine wine retailer he had met on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast – as his first manager of Tanunda Cellars. Ten years later, Chris is still working around the clock, ensuring the old store continues to ward off the challenge of new retailers and remain the region’s pre-eminent source of great Barossa wines.

For Trevor, one thing led to another and by the mid-2000s, he had invested further in his “hobby”, purchasing a wine store at Maleny (now known as Purple Palate Maleny) and one of Australia’s leading independent liquor wholesalers, Suncoast Wholesale Liquor, based on the Sunshine Coast.

After several successful years building a network of loyal customers on the Coast, Trevor and his son-in-law Darren Naylor (a former champion triathlete) decided to step up a gear by investigating the possibility of obtaining a general liquor licence in Brisbane in the hope of establishing a wine bar and several fine wine stores.

Around the same time, one of Brisbane’s leading wine retailers Darren Davis – who had long harboured dreams of opening a Barossa-themed bar called Bar Barossa – and myself met and decided to join the adventure.

I was looking for a new angle on life after having the misfortune of being the Editor-in-Chief of the Australia’s longest-running weekly magazine, The Bulletin, when James Packer sold his media interests to private equity investors who promptly shut down the perpetually revenue-challenged title in January 2008.

So here we are now, with the doors to Bar Barossa open and four Purple Palate stores open throughout Brisbane.

Our team couldn’t be more excited about the prospect of sharing our love of wine and life with a new breed of wine lovers, who appreciate the exhilarating joy of discovery that comes with sampling new wines from around the world, handcrafted, often in tiny quantities, by winemakers who pour their soul into the bottle.