And despite a mother who was terrified her little boy might turn into an alcoholic by working in the industry.
Anderson had no family history in the wine industry. In fact he hardly had any connection with anything in the alcohol industry. The only alcohol his father drank was the case of beer he always got for Christmas – and that took him the whole year to finish.
But when Anderson finished high school in Griffith, NSW, he was offered 3 jobs (as you were in those good old days of the 1960s).
One was with the CSIRO, one at the WC&IC (water commission) and one as a trainee winemaker with a local winery.
After a few seconds of hard thinking Anderson thought winemaking sounded the most interesting and he signed on at Rossetto’s winery.
His first vintage at Rossetto’s was 1964 and after only a few weeks in the job Howard was thrust into the role of winemaker after his boss suddenly took ill and was carted off to the hospital for a couple of weeks.
Fortunately it turns out the boy was born to brew and Anderson took to the role – and the responsibility – like a duck to water.
“The boss had his brother check on me a few times, but that soon stopped when he realised everything was obviously under control,” Anderson said.
“And jumping in the deep end (being pushed really) cemented in my mind that this was what I was meant to do,” he said.
Anderson has spent the past 23 years working at establishing and building Anderson winery and still laughs as he recalls his mother’s concern about his potential drinking.
From Rosetto’s Anderson joined Seppelt in Griffith and was transferred to its Great Western vineyards in Victoria in 1971.
“This is where I learnt about making sparkling wines, or Champagne as we were allowed to call it in those days, and it is a passion which has stayed with me ever since,” he said.
“The early ’70s was a great time to work at Seppelt Great Western. Peter Weste was the winemaker, with Leo Hurley and Harold Carr both nearing retirement after working under the legendary Colin Preece for more than 40 years.
“Leo Hurley was the winemaking assistant to Colin Preece and Harold Carr was the unrecognised riddling/disgorging expert.”
Anderson spent 14 years as a winemaker with Seppelt and during this time was posted to their Rutherglen winery for a couple of vintages where he got to know the Rutherglen region.
Full story in the March 2014 issue of Grapegrower & Winemaker.