Intensely serious on the field, Port Adelaide’s Tom Jonas and Brad Ebert have turned their attention to an off-field project with the same ferocity.
In the last few years, a group of Power players have come up with a concept called ‘pipe dreams,’ where they spitball ideas and see which ones stick.
The concept of starting their own wine business was the first one to stick for the duo, and that’s where ‘Hey Diddle’ was born.
Originating in South Australia’s Barossa Valley, the name behind their wine venture came from a phrase some may have heard beamed from their TV screens.
“I came across the old commentary term which Brian Taylor uses a fair bit, which is ‘hey diddle diddle, straight through the middle’,” Jonas told AFLPlayers.com.au.
“I floated it to Ebo and he said, ‘why don’t we cut it down to Hey Diddle? It’s been that ever since.”
One of the highlights of theproject for both Jonas and Ebert is the hands-on aspect of overseeing their brand’s sales and the design of the bottles and label.
Ebert also says it’s been enjoyable to see the intricacies of the wine-making process.
“The cool thing about this project is we’ve been able to drive it ourselves,” Ebert said.
“We’ve had the power to choose whatever bottles we want, get whoever we want to do the labels, including waxing the tops in there,” Ebert said.
“You’re looking at sales and people are saying, ‘did you see I ordered the thing’ and I said ‘yeah it comes direct to me, we are the ones who actually see it’.
“We just get involved with the majority of it, from the de-stemming to watching the fermentation process.”
The first vintage of the Hey Diddle Wines is a 2017 Barossa Shiraz, which is already sold in four South Australian liquor stores.
Ebert says the main design of the current label has incorporated a personal aspect, which will become a theme for future vintages.
“That first label is a depiction of me jetty jumping, so each label we are going to do has a story of one of our upbringings. For me, that was as a kid going down to Grange and going down to Henley beach,” Ebert said.
“We wanted to stand out and have that point of difference when you’re looking at the shelf and you look at wine, we wanted to make sure that it stood out compared to others.”