O’Shea was, in the eyes of many, the greatest winemaker Australia has known – or, at the least, one of the ones who allowed us all to dream of real quality. He was the ultimate Australian artisinal winemaker … in the 1920s, and 30s, and 40s, and 50s. On a hillside out there, a long way from anywhere. Of course, few took much notice of O’Shea’s wines in his day. They do now. – Campbell Mattinson, Wine Hunter
In 2005, author Campbell Mattinson released ‘The Wine Hunter’, a book which chronicles the life of Maurice O’Shea and the challenges he faced working his craft on a remote pocket land. It shares the stories of his love of wine and his love of a woman. It is a landmark piece of writing about a pioneer in Australian winemaking. According to Mattinson:
It was only a little way up the hill, and as much a studio and work space as a winery. Tin walls, a flurry of cats, a floor of bare earth. Worn hard and firm and packed by years of work, but bare and natural, the start of a closeness, the intimacy of man and wine and work, earth and wood and press.
Originally published and released by Mount Pleasant, the book saw a wider release when it was later published by Hachette Australia.
Throughout its life, Wine Hunter has received widespread critical acclaim for both the depth of its storytelling and the style in which it was written. Described by James Halliday as, ‘one of the most remarkable books to come my way’, Wine Hunter earned Campbell Mattinson the 2006 Australian Wine Communicator of the Year Award.