Visitor Publications

Wed at Work ... Heidi and Neil Williams

Published: Wednesday 11th of January 2012


Visitor Magazine chats to Neil and Heidi Williams who are married with two boys living in Flinders. Heidi is Marketing Manager at Montalto while Neil is a partner in the Cook Street Collective- an art gallery in Flinders. While married they have collaborated on a number of projects including the Montalto wine labels and the annual Sculpture exhibition. We spoke to them about working together on the Peninsula.

How and when did you meet?
We first met in the UK, as teenagers, Neil, an Englishman, was living in Surrey while Heidi was a teenager living with her family in the UK temporarily. They got together in '96 and went travelling together.

What made you want to live on the Peninsula?
We moved down in 1997 essentially so Heidi would be close to Montalto and because we had decided that we didn't want to live in the city. We just really liked it down here.

What made you decide to work together?
We wanted to collaborate & Montalto became one of Neil's projects. Neil oversees the brand's identity with labels & brochures he also manages the Montalto Sculpture show. Neil's creativity & our different personalities have brought
great results.

Most memorable moment at work?
Definitely getting married at Montalto.

What do you love most about the Peninsula?
It's about the community, space, choices for kids, we have a big veggie patch and orchard which we get a lot of joy from. You can really see the different ways you can live your life down here.

What's the Peninsula's best kept secret:
Definitely the Cook Street Collective Gallery in Flinders

What's the best kept secret for kids/dogs?
We've got a labradoodle named Willow she's in love with the beaches around Flinders. As a family, we go off on adventures; recently we discovered the Enchanted Maze Garden and rode our bikes around the Flinders golf course which was great fun. We love our secret beaches too - somewhere you can go and find very few other people.

What is one thing visitors should definitely try?
It is really hard to go past the exceptional wine made down this way, so a day of wine tasting is in order. At the same time you could collect ingredients for dinner - local cheese, bread, mussels from the Flinders Pier, cherries or other fruits in season, and enjoy at one of our fabulous B&B's with a bottle of Mornington Peninsula wine... or if you don't feel like cooking then we would always welcome you at Montalto for dinner.

If you had to advise another couple who are about to go into your situation what would you teach them?
It's important to keep your relationship and work separate. Enjoy the quality family time together and don't allow work to dominate.

How do you see the future of tourism on the Mornington Peninsula?
It will continue to get bigger with more and more people and that's OK, change is good but we all want a balance and in particular we want to see the important elements of the region maintained - these are the reason why we moved here in the first place.

How and where do you like to relax when not at work?
We just love hanging with the family and getting stuck into a bit of gardening.

You're stranded on a desert island and the only wine you'd have is?
Definitely a Montalto 2008 'The Eleven' Single Vineyard Chardonnay a wine of real poise, length and complexity.

This Christmas what will you drink?
We will be doing a kind of degustation Christmas lunch with lots of seafood dishes matched to a variety of wines mainly whites so Riesling, Chardonnay and Rose. We'll start with French champagne... it should be great fun.

Read more – Page 112

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