In March 2006 they named their new brand Mollydooker - Aussie for left hander - because they are both left handed. Two weeks later they were down to $17 in the bank. It was scary. They had always been a cash company. Their motto had been, if you can't pay on time, pay early. Now that was impossible. They couldn't even afford to label the wine.
And then a miracle happened. A local businessman walked in the door, said he had heard that they may be in trouble, and asked to know the story. Half an hour later he walked out the door on his way to a month's holiday. Sparky stood, tears pouring down his cheeks, holding a cheque for enough money to enable them to survive.
Three months later, The Wine Advocate chose The Boxer as the Best Value Red Wine in the World, the Two Left Feet as the second, and the Maitre De as the fourth. The Violinist was chosen the Best Value White Wine in the world. The wines sold out in nineteen days, and all the debts were paid off.
In August, when the Carnival of Love (WA:99) and Enchanted Path (WA:96) were released they sold out in five days, and Mollydooker was back to paying bills early, and was able to give bonuses to staff and growers.
Since then it has been a story of phenomenal success. Sarah and Sparky now have more wines of 94 Parker points and above than any other winemakers in the world, The Velvet Glove is the fifth wine of theirs to be awarded 99 points, the Carnival of Love has twice been in the Wine Spectator's Top Ten wines in the World, the Blue Eyed Boy is featured in the Qantas President's Lounge and in Morton's Steak Houses, and the demand for The Boxer is so huge, that this year (2011) it will have its own special release day.
A mere eighteen months after being down to their last $17, Sarah and Sparky were able to buy a beautiful property with stunning views, a winery, and 114 acres of vineyards on the magic Seaview Ridge in McLaren Vale, home of most of the iconic McLaren Vale wines.
Sarah and Sparky have never forgotten how they were helped when they were in need, and they have developed and fund two Mollydooker Houses in Cambodia which school and feed 200 children and their families, and have started on a third. They also support Chester County Futures in PA, providing education for underprivileged children; Mercy Ministries in the US, helping abused girls; and Into The Blue in Australia, providing work opportunities for aboriginal traditional land owners.
Their business has grown entirely by word of mouth - they have never advertised, and don't even have a marketing budget. However, they do a lot of partying, so look out for Mollydooker events in your area! And if you ever make it to the winery be prepared to spend several hours doing the winery tour and sharing in the fun.