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Friday 3 November 2023

Big change at Hill-Smith Family Wines


Big news from Hill-Smith Family Estates, whose labels include Yalumba, with the announcement today of the appointment of Sam Wigan as the new head of winemaking ahead of the 2024 vintage. 

Wigan, the son of former Peter Lehmann chief winemaker Andrew Wigan, takes over from Louisa Rose.

Wigan has worked for the Hill-Smith family for 22 years. 

He completed his first vintage in 2000 at Peter Lehmann Wines before travelling to the Sonoma Valley for the northern hemisphere vintage.

The following year, he commenced a traineeship at Yalumba and studied oenology at Charles Sturt University.

He subsequently worked vintages in Marlborough, Rioja and Beaujolais.

Fifth-generation family member and chair Robert Hill-Smith said: “Louisa Rose has mentored and led a strong winemaking team, and now under a new leader in Sam Wigan, we have the chance to showcase and express those experiences in a very tangible and exciting way as the 2024 harvest looms. 

"Sam has shown excellence in his craft and embraces the balance of tradition with innovation across our folio. 

"It is a challenging but exciting time. We have a strong, intelligent team with diverse thinking and a strong belief in crafting fine wine with personality and expression of place." 

Wigan said he was excited to be entrusted with custodianship of the collection of wine brands.

“I have always been deeply passionate and excited by wine,” he said. 

Louisa Rose (above) will remain with the company in "a new leadership role", supporting the wine, sales and marketing teams as head of sustainability and brand ambassador.

Rose has worked for the Hill-Smith family since 1992and was appointed head of winemaking in 2006. 

“To have talent and leadership of Sam’s calibre come through our ranks has filled us with confidence and opportunity," she said. 

“It has been a pleasure working alongside Sam for 22 years; we still have many years working together ahead of us.” 

Hill-Smith Family Estates incorporates Samuel Smith & Son, Negociants Australia, Negociants New Zealand, Negociants International, Free Run Juice, Yalumba Nursery, and wine brands and vineyard estates including Yalumba, Jansz Tasmania, Dalrymple Vineyards, Pewsey Vale Vineyard, Heggies Vineyard, Nautilus Estate of Marlborough, Oxford Landing, Running with Bulls, Winesmiths, Opawa, Smith & Hooper, Ringbolt. mesh, La Maschera, Rogers & Rufus, earthworks, Twin Islands, Hill-Smith Estate, and Parish Vineyard

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