Max Lake

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Max Emory Lake, OAM (24 July 1924 – 14 April 2009) was an Australian winemaker and surgeon, who is generally regarded as the "father of the Australian boutique wine industry".[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Lake was born in 1924 in Albany, in upstate New York[1] in the United States, where his parents, David and Hannah, worked in the film industry. He had a sister and three brothers. His family moved to Sydney where his father ran the Australian division of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.[2] Lake went to Bellevue Hill Public School and then Sydney Boys' High School.[1]

He studied medicine at the University of Sydney, where he met another medical student, Joy Townsend, his future wife.

Career[edit]

Surgical career[edit]

Following graduation from the University of Sydney, Lake studied surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons in England in the early 1950s[1] and went on to become the first Australian surgeon to specialise in hand surgery.[3] He gave up his work as a surgeon in 1979 to concentrate on his interest in wine and food.[1]

Winemaking career[edit]

In 1963, Lake founded Lake's Folly, a winery in the Hunter Region in New South Wales considered to be Australia's first boutique winery and a major influence on the Australian wine industry. In 1988, The Bulletin magazine called Lake "the man who started the (Australian) wine boom".[4]

His wife and son, Stephen, were active in the winery. Stephen said that "Dad was the boss, Mum the brains and I was the brawn".[1]

In addition to making wine, Lake wrote widely on wine and food. In 1966, he published the landmark book Classic Wines of Australia,[3] followed by several other books about wine including Hunter Wine, Scents and Sensuality and Food on the Plate, Wine in the Glass.[5] Many of these books relate to his third career as a "flavourolgist", his description of his "attempt to understand how taste, smell and flavour shaped humanity". Flavour and pleasure were two guiding principles in his life.

Death[edit]

Lake died on 14 April 2009, aged 84, at his home in Longueville on Sydney's Lower North Shore, after sustaining a head injury from a fall.[4][6]

Personal life[edit]

Lake married fellow medical student Joy Townsend in 1948.[1] Max and Joy had twins, David and Paula, who were born in Brisbane in 1950, and Stephen, born in Sydney in 1955.[1]

Honours[edit]

In the 2002 Australia Day Honours, Lake was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for service to the establishment of the boutique wine industry in Australia as a winemaker, judge, promoter and author.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Newton, John (2009) "A knowing nose and father of boutique wine", Sydney Morning Herald, 17 April 2009
  2. ^ Vale Max Lake, Jancis Robinson, 14 April 2009.
  3. ^ a b Australian Biography: Max Lake, Film Australia, 2005.
  4. ^ a b Mattinson, Campbell: Industry legend Max Lake dies, Wine Front, 15 April 2009.
  5. ^ Beeston, John (2001). A Concise History of Australian Wine. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-547-2. 
  6. ^ Hawkins, Peter: Aussie wine pioneer Max Lake dies, The Sydney Morning Herald, 16 April 2009.
  7. ^ LAKE, Max Emory, It's an Honour (Australian Government), 26 January 2002.

External links[edit]