The past 10 years have been an incredible journey for Great Western vigneron Hadyn Black.
Mr Black was named the Young Guns of Wine 'Top 50 up-and-coming new producers' in June. The nod is a culmination of hard work, experimentation and patience.
However, Mr Black's wine journey didn't start in a picturesque vineyard, but in an inner-city store.
"I was working at a fine wine merchant; I didn't enjoy serving customers all day," he said. "I decided I wanted to make wine rather than sell it, so I studied winemaking.
"My first vintage was in 2010 and I loved it."
Mr Black cut his teeth at wineries in Victoria's Yarra Valley and Sunbury wine regions before heading over to California's premier wine growing district - the Napa Valley.
"Working in the US is different; they seem to have a limitless budget," he said.
"They pay vast amounts for fruit and water, and they seem to have the latest and greatest equipment available and lots of brand new barrels.
"It was certainly a different experience... different to running things on a shoestring budget in Australia, and probably making better wine."
Mr Black returned to Australia and started working at Best's in Great Western.
The wines do well, but they are certainly off the beaten track.Hadyn Black
"I started at Best's for a vintage, and they asked me to stay on a bit longer... and then a bit longer. That turned into a full time job."
It was at Best's where he met his partner Lucy Joyce, the cellar door manager.
Together, they bought the Hounds Run, a property in Rhymney in 2016, just south of Great Western.
"We bought an established vineyard, which has 15 acres of Shiraz and 15 acres of merlot," Mr Black said.
"We've got a tiny house set up for some accommodation, and we're working on a few other projects, including a tram."
He also co-owns Black & Ginger, a small batch winery making big waves nationally.
Together with his business partner Darcy' Ginger' Naunton, Mr Black buys and sells locally grown grapes, and produces wines for a younger demographic of wine drinkers.
"Being a small business, we're struggling to sell Shiraz," he said.
"You can walk into any winery in the Grampians and know you will get a Shiraz and Riesling, so we want to be a little bit different."
Using Spanish and Portuguese grapes grown in Great Western, Mr Black produces some rare varietals.
"We produce a Graciano, which is a Spanish wine," he said.
"Graciano is often used for blending in Spain, but it came out nice as a straight wine; it's aromatic and sits somewhere between a Pinot (Noir) and Shiraz.
"We also make an orange muscat and riesling blend (called Miss Piggy).
"Normally, orange muscat is used to make sweet wines, but this is table wine.
"When you pick orange muscat, it smells like freshly cut oranges, so the wine is super aromatic."
Mr Black's wines have earned plenty of attention, including the eye of iconic Australian wine critic, James Halliday.
"The orange muscat and riesling blend, which is now sold out, received a 90 in the 2021 Wine Companion," he said.
"The 2019 Grenache received a 93, and my 2018 Shiraz got 95 points. The wines do well, but they are certainly off the beaten track."
It's Mr Black's willingness to try something new that has seen him rise the ranks of young winemakers.
"This year we made an extra wine, which is a blend of the Spanish and Portuguese varieties, called Cinco Rojos or 'Five reds'," he said.
"It will be something a bit different again.
"We wanted to up the production of our other wines, but we don't want to go too fast because there's no point in making a heap of wine that you can't sell.
"Around here (Hounds Run vineyard, the next 12 months is going to be pretty exciting.
"We're setting up the tram as an Airbnb; we've also got a vintage caravan here that we're going to set up. Ideally, we will build a cellar door too."