Philip was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia. He studied Agricultural Science, and then worked in cattle breeding, farming and pecan cultivation. He then decided to pursue a degree in Wine Science at CSU (Charles Sturt University) in Wagga.
He moved to South Australia in 1984 to work at the innovative Wirra Wirra in McLaren Vale. Subsequently, he moved back to Victoria to work with Domaine Chandon Australia and establish its newly acquired Greenpoint property in Yarra Valley.
In 1988, he became senior winemaker at Coldstream Hills where he worked with one of Australia's foremost wine writers, James Halliday. Over the next ten years, Coldstream Hills grew rapidly, won numerous awards and gained considerable recognition both at home and abroad. It was here that Philip gained a global perspective on winemaking for export to a variety of markets.
In 1998, Philip accepted the position of General Manager and Winemaker at Inniskillin. This was a pivotal time in the Canadian wine industry. His responsibilities included overseeing winemaking at all the Inniskillin properties in Niagara and the Okanagan.
In 2003, Philip and his wife, Meg, celebrated the birth of their daughter, Sophia. In 2004, he accepted the position of Senior Winemaker/Winery Manager for Cumulus Wines in Orange, Australia, so that Sophia could get to know her family and Australian heritage. Cumulus was a very large operation with over 1000 acres of vineyards and a 10,000 tonne capacity winery.
In 2006, the opportunity to develop the premium estate vineyards at Angels Gate Winery arose, and it was easy for him to accept this position. He was impressed with the portfolio and found the Riesling exceptional. Philip continues to thrive on the wine industry in Niagara and thinks its full potential is yet to come.
Angels Gate Winery opened in 2002 with the goal of producing Niagara's finest wines.
grape varieties include Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Shiraz
In 2009, Angels Gate Winery began collaborating with neighbouring vintners Graham and Christine Rennie of Rennie Estate Winery to produce a small lot of artisanal wines. These wines (under the label Heron Pond) reflect the unique terroir of their Beamsville Bench vineyard site. Utilized Angels Gate winemaker Philip Dowell's substantial expertise in ultra premium winemaking as well as Graham's Old World Veronese drying techniques. The goal of this joint venture has been to improve the quality and richness of Bordeaux varietal wines.
The Mountain view 2009 Pinot Noir was named best of Class at the 2012 Cuvee Awards