The announcement follows Accolade completing the acquisition of the Coonawarra brand, marking its first acquisition under the new leadership team and The Carlyle Group ownership.
Cleghorn, who has been making wines from the Coonawarra region for more than 10 years and brings with her over 21 years experience in the industry, will become the fourth female senior winemaker on the team when she tales on her new role on 4 January 2021.
She joined Yalumba in 1999 in the laboratory while undertaking her Bachelor degree in wine science from Charles Sturt University. Since completing her studies, she has enjoyed both commercial and artisan experience working for the Hill Smith family’s estate vineyards, including Yalumba, Oxford Landing Estates and Dalrymple.
Accolade Wines said it was looking forward to “seeing great things” from the Katnook Estate winery under the guidance of “such a distinguished winemaker as Natalie Cleghorn”.
“We are happy to have Natalie on board and believe she will bring even more experience to the winery at Katnook,” said CEO Robert Foye.
“Katnook is renowned for producing rich and balanced red and white varietals that are sought after by the rest of the world and we are delighted to be able to help expand the potential of such an esteemed vineyard and region.”
Cleghorn added: “I have a great passion for the wines of Coonawarra and the region as a whole. I am looking forward to being able to fully immerse myself focussing on the region, wines and winery and I am excited by the prospect of working with the experienced team to guide this historic brand into the future.”
Accolade announced it had acquired the Katnook Estate from the Wingara Wine Group, for an undisclosed sum, in September this year.
The estate comprises 160ha of land under vine, together with a winery and cellar-door operation.