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Wednesday 10 July 2019

International wine triumph for McGuigan

Neil McGuigan is one of the nice guys of the wine industry.

A member of one of Australia's most famous wine-making families, he oversees the McGuigan and Nepenthe brands for Australian Vintage.

I caught up with him last month at the Sydney Opera House, where he was showing off some recent award winners. What struck me was not only the quality of the white wines that had tickled wine judge's fancy, but also the excellent value offered by, particularly, the semillons,chardonnays and rieslings.

The Guigans, like Taylors and several other big produducers, are huge fans of the show system, believing global recognition will lead to global sales.

That's why McGuigan and his team will have been delighted to become the first Australian winery in history to win the White Winemaker of the Year award at one of the world’s most prestigious
wine competitions – the International Wine Challenge (IWC) – four times.

The results were revealed last night at a gala awards ceremony in London and follow McGuigan Wines’ previous wins in 2009, 2012 and 2013.

The 2019 White Winemaker of the Year award crowns McGuigan Wines’ strong performance across this year’s IWC, where it won a total of four golds, 11 silvers and 14 bronze medals.

The gold medals were awarded to the McGuigan Personal Reserve Shiraz 2017, McGuigan Shortlist Chardonnay 2015, McGuigan Shortlist Riesling 2013 and McGuigan Cellar Select Chardonnay 2017.

“To have received the White Winemaker of the Year award four times in the last decade is unprecedented and extremely humbling," Neil McGuigan said. "I am immensely proud of our achievements at this year’s show, which are a testament to the commitment of our wine-making team.

"Every time an Australian wine is recognised at international wine competitions it puts Australia on the map and highlights the quality being produced."

That was one of McGuigan's theme at our recent catch-up. He was critical of several other producers who highlight their personal triumphs rather than using them as a way to boost the Australian industry as a whole.

“We continue to be incredibly honoured to represent Australia on the global stage." he said. "Award wins such as this reinforce the reputation of Australian wine and demonstrate we have truly earned our place among the world’s best wines.”

In addition to the four IWC White Winemaker of the Year awards, the last decade has also seen McGuigan Wines named International Winemaker of the Year at the International Wine & Spirits Competition four times: in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2016.

McGuigan Shortlist Chardonnay 2015, McGuigan Shortlist Riesling 2013 and McGuigan Cellar Select Chardonnay 2017 are available in limited quantities at the McGuigan Cellar Door in the Hunter Valley.

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