Bill Redman is considered to be one of the pioneers for the region’s wine industry. His first vintage was at John Riddoch’s winery in Coonawarra in 1901 and he was appointed head cellar person at the age of 19 and learnt the craft of winemaking from Ewen Fergusson McBain.
In 1909 Redman entered into an agreement with Douglas A Tolley to make wine from the Redman family vineyard in hogsheads supplied by Tolley. This arrangement continued for 10 years with most of the wine being exported to Britain. Bill Redman subsequently made wine in bulk primarily for Woodley Wines until the 1950s, The wine was said to be a lighter bodied ‘claret’ style aged in large casks for at least 2 years. Bill oversaw all the winemaking in Coonawarra from 1946 to 1951.
In the early 1950s Bill started to supply wine to several wines companies such as Hardy, Yalumba, Leo Buring, Woodley and Chateau Reynella.
In 1952 Bill established Rouge Homme and the first wine to appear under his own label was the 1953 Rouge Homme Claret. Bill retired in 1954 however he remained involved with Rouge Homme until its sale in 1965 and subsequently Redman Wines until his death in 1979.