Brendan Carr leaves Xanadu for Idée Fixe

By Jane Faulkner

13 Dec, 2022

Winemaker Brendan Carr is leaving Margaret River winery Xanadu for a role at Vasse Felix's sparkling wine house.

After 11 years as winemaker at Xanadu, Brendan Carr has been appointed operations manager at Idée Fixe, Vasse Felix’s sparkling wine house, specialising in blanc de blancs.

It’s a coup for Idée Fixe as Carr, 35, is a talent and one of the young stars of the Australian wine scene.

While recognising the role is less hands-on with winemaking (compared to the range of wines at Xanadu), “it’s going to be a steep learning curve with bubbles but it is exciting and challenging,” says Carr “and it’s always good to push oneself.”

For another two years, major renovations take place at Idée Fixe including a high-end restaurant, refit at cellar door and changes in the winery. “It’s incredibly aspirational and a great time to be working there.”

A man holding a pug crouches in a vineyard

Carr and Xanadu’s senior winemaker Glenn Goodall have a special relationship, a comedic duo on many occasions and their repartee legendary. For example, since Goodall was anointed the Halliday Winemaker of the Year 2023, Carr cheekily adds: “My shoulders are only so big to carry Glenn. It was time to leave! Truth is the team culture at Xanadu is second to none.”

He takes up the role in mid-January while winemaker Mick Langridge, who had been charged with the sparkling program, is now general manager at Vasse Felix. Matt Godfrey, ex Devil’s Lair, slips into Carr’s role as of today (December 12). Carr quips it was necessary to have Matt start early to understand “the ways of Glenn.” 

Another notable appointment, which was official in October, Eloise Jarvis is now senior winemaker at Cape Mentelle. A perfect fit as she cut her teeth there in 1996 – her first vintage gig as a cellar hand and lab technician. Aside from her skill, the respect and love she has for Cape Mentelle bodes well.