Stuart Wines Company

After emigrating from Indonesia, an entrepreneurial family decided to turn their experience selling bottled water in Indonesia to making and exporting premium quality Australian wines.

The first step in their business plan was buying vineyards in two of Victoria’s premium wine making districts, one in the Yarra Valley (located east of Melbourne) and one in Heathcote (north of Melbourne).

Next the family acquired the services of master vintner and chocolatier, Peter Wilson, as their chief winemaker and Managing Director. Stuart Wines currently produce wines under three labels, Cahillton, White Box and Huma, selling to the local market and exporting to New Zealand, Germany, The Netherlands, Malaysia, Indonesia, Macau, Taiwan, Hong Kong and China.

Two sites, one data source

Crucial to the smooth running of any large winery is having the right technical systems in place for planning and monitoring processes, and linking staff and vineyards together.


Stuart Wines had no central point for storing and saving data. Multiple versions of single files were being saved to PDA’s (Personal Digital Assistant), notebooks and computers located across both vineyards. In addition, with no access to landline Internet systems the two sites were isolated from each other.


Peter knew exactly who he wanted to fix and manage Stuart Wine’s IT systems. As proprietor of Kennedy & Wilson chocolates Peter has had a long term business relationship with itro and has full confidence in their ability to walk into any business environment and implement a reliable IT system.


Unifying the data streams

itro immediately organised satellite connection to the Internet for both vineyards and installation of a master Server at Heathcote. Microsoft Small Business Server (SBS) was installed giving all staff access to Microsoft Outlook Email and shared Calendars. It also established a central point for storing and saving data, giving staff peace of mind knowing data was up to date and that any file changes were saved daily. SBS gives businesses a stable platform to link sites and people and the flexibility to buy user licenses as required.

Integrating third party systems

Stuart Wines prepares and ferments wines for all their labels at the Heathcote winery in massive outdoor stainless steel vats. Crucial to the winemaking process is monitoring fermentation temperatures whilst wines are fermenting. A Temperature Control System had been installed on a stand-alone computer to protect developing wines however this required someone onsite at all times to check data output.

itro connected the computer to Stuart Wines central Server, negating the need for 24-hour onsite attendance. Peter now has the freedom to hook into the Temperature Control System at any time using a laptop, computer or PDA and remotely control the fermentation process.

Managing security

Networked systems are powerful business tools that, left unsecured, can be used by disgruntled employees or hackers to disrupt or damage business.


Having linked office data and production systems onto a centralised Server, itro upgraded security to manage any electronic risk to Stuart Wines. A modem firewall protects the satellite link from anonymous visitors and access to the Server is restricted to authenticated users with secured passwords.

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