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Neil McGuigan is White Winemaker of the Year

The international wine trade paid tribute to leading Australian winemaker Neil McGuigan was named White Winemaker of the Year at the International Wine Challenge (IWC) in London on September 3.

Commenting on the win, Neil said “this is fantastic news for both myself and the McGuigan family, who have worked so hard over many years to bring well-made, affordable, Australian wines to the global market.  I am truly honoured to be named White Winemaker of the Year and hope that wine drinkers across the world will continue to enjoy McGuigan wines for many years to come.”

Growing up in a family of winemakers in the Hunter Valley naturally led Neil to pursue a career in winemaking and viticulture. Today, he is still as passionate about delivering innovative, quality wine, as he was when he first started making wines over 30 years ago.

The award completed a memorable week for Australia’s second largest producer with 2007 Nepenthe Ithaca Chardonnay (RRP £14.99) being awarded the title of Best Chardonnay in the World over £10 at the Decanter World Wine Awards earlier in the week. The win was just one of over sixty at the IWC and Decanter World Wine Awards for the Australian Vintage portfolio, which includes McGuigan, Nepenthe and Tempus Two.

At the IWC, the 2007 McGuigan Shortlist Chardonnay (RRP £14.99) stood out to the judges, winning the Australian Chardonnay trophy, the South Australian White Wine trophy and the Adelaide Hills White trophy.  Other successes at the Decanter World Wine Awards included the premium positioned 2003 McGuigan Earth’s Portrait Riesling (RRP £13.99) which was awarded the Best Australian Riesling Over £10 trophy and the 2008 Nepenthe Altitude Sauvignon Blanc (RRP £7.99) which picked up the Best Australian Sauvignon Blanc Under £10 trophy.  

Commenting on the news, Paul Schaafsma, Australian Vintage general manager UK and Europe said: “We are absolutely over the moon with these fantastic results. Australian Vintage has built its business in the UK by supplying wines that over-deliver in terms of quality at every price point, and in the current economic climate we are proving that customers won’t have to compromise on quality to get good value, whether it be at £5 or £15. The recent trophy wins for our premium wines are a great boost to our credentials and provides an endorsement of our broader portfolio of products. Three years ago the winemaking team, headed by Neil McGuigan, recognised the need to adapt stylistically to produce more appropriate and relevant wines for the global market - leaner, less buttery Chardonnay and less acidic, more refined Shiraz, for example. The recognition we have received from the IWC is a powerful endorsement of our new approach.”

1 September 2009 - Felicity Murray