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Thursday 28 July 2022

Big changes at Wirra Wirra

It is all change at leading McLaren Vale winery Wirra Wirra.

Matthew Deller MW (right) is to succeed recently departed Andrew Kay as CEO, and Emma Wood has been named as senior winemaker of the brand. 

Deller joins the business from Villa Maria and prior to his role in New Zealand, he had extensive experience in US as COO for TOR Wines in the Napa Valley as well as holding senior roles at Wine Access and Constellation Brands. He became a Master of Wine in 2016.

“It’s a huge honour to take on custodianship of Wirra Wirra following 16 years of outstanding leadership by Andrew Kay.” he said.

“Wirra Wirra’s amazing people and culture, commitment to biodynamics, and the authenticity, provenance and character of its wines position it firmly amongst Australia’s finest wineries.

"Now, with Emma Wood at the winemaking helm, I’m excited to work with the team to take Wirra Wirra to the next level.”

Wood (below) joins Wirra Wirra after a career at Treasury Wine Estates. 

Her most recent role as senior winemaker for Penfolds saw her heading the brand’s winemaking venture in France.

She was previously senior winemaker at Seppelt Great Western.

"The reputation of McLaren Vale wines is world renowned, and the pedigree and consistency of Wirra Wirra wines is a standout amongst them, with wines such as Church Block, RSW, The Absconder and The Angelus," Wood said.

"I am honoured to build on that history and am excited to be joining the team and looking forward to familiarising myself with the vineyards and valued growers.”

Wood will start on August 22 and Deller on September 1.

Former chief winemaker Paul Smith has left Wirra Wirra after 14 years for a new role but team members Tom Ravech and Kelly Washington will work with Wood. 

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