Because every wine has a story to tell

Winemaker Scott Heidrich and his family.

The Rusty Mutt Name

Winemaking is (and should be) a very personal process. The choices in style and direction during the process are almost limitless, so personality plays an enormous role in the way the finished wine looks in the bottle. Winemaker Scott Heidrich was born in the year of the ‘Metal Dog’ according to Chinese astrology, which was ‘Australian-ised’ to ‘Rusty Mutt’. Scott has named the wines in his range after his family members, associating the wine style with their unique personality and Chinese Zodiac sign.


Scott’s interest in wine began as a youngster growing up in the Barossa Valley. A batch of Grenache was (semi) successfully produced in an old bathtub by his dad from the family vineyard. Family friends in the wine industry kept the interest alive through school, and finally a Bachelor Degree in Wine Science at the world renowned Roseworthy Agricultural College. The first vintage of Rusty Mutt was created back in 2006 with the support of some close, wine loving friends of Scott’s. The Rusty Mutt dream began with three barrels of McLaren Vale Shiraz, made at a small McLaren Vale winery. Eventually it was sold, and more wine was made a few years later and the ball began to roll.
Winemaker Scott Heidrich tasting wine
Pushing the basket press in place

Our Style

The very ‘up close and personal’ nature of small batch winemaking allows greater understanding and direction to occur. Choices in yeast, temperature, cap management, skin contact and oak provides us with many opportunities to encourage our style. We aim for concentration, finesse and a fine, yet firm structure. This allows the wine to drink well on release and also provide rewards for patience in the cellar.

Owner And Winemaker

Owner and Winemaker Scott Heidrich grew up in the Barossa Valley and studied Wine Science at Roseworthy College from 1989 to 1991. He then made the move to McLaren Vale in 1993 after a couple of cellar positions in the Barossa. Scott is currently the senior winemaker for another McLaren Vale company, working with McLaren Vale fruit since 1993. Scott has drawn upon this knowledge and experience to find fruit from particular areas in McLaren Vale which are best suited to the Rusty Mutt style. Scott’s family and friends provide support and inspiration for the growing business.
Scott Heidrich Winemaker