Australian Biography: Max Lake


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2006, 26 Minutes

Dr Max Lake succeeded in three distinctly different fields - as a surgeon, winegrower and author - although he is probably best known as one of the pioneers of the Australian wine boom.

Born in the United States in 1924, he studied medicine at Sydney University and was the first Australian to specialise in hand surgery. Then, in 1963 in the Hunter Valley of NSW, he established Lake’s Folly, one of Australia’s first and most prestigious boutique wineries. And in 1966, he made his name with a benchmark book, Classic Wines of Australia.

As his surgical career came to an end, Max leapt wholeheartedly into the world of wine and food, as a member of the Food Standards Committee and a renowned international judge. Applying his medical background to the science of flavour and smell, he also became an obsessive student of the senses.

His influential writing and research includes the books Scents and Sensuality and Food on the Plate, Wine in the Glass.

In 2002 Max 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.

In this Australian Biography interview, Max talks with gusto about life’s pleasures and his passionate pursuit of them.

A Film Australia National Interest Program.© 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.

Free Teachers’ Notes - Download here

NB The Australian Biography series (1-11) are only available for sale within the territories of Australia and New Zealand.


Producer/Director: Rod Freedman

Writer/Interviewer: Robin Hughes

Year: 2006

Running Time: 26 Minutes

Classification: Exempt from classification

Curriculum Links: Design and Technologies; Science; Geography; Food Technology; Business Studies; SOSE/HSIE; Viniculture; Viticulture.


Australian Biography: Margaret Fulton

SKU 200402205
Brand Film Australia

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