Jane Clare speaks to Neil McGuigan, the IWSC Winemaker of the Year in 2009, 2011 and 2012.
Where did you first develop a passion for wine?
My passion for the wine industry began a long time ago due to its diversity – it is a mix of agriculture, logistics, marketing, selling, running a business and much more, and it is this diversity that was very attractive for me.
This passion was strengthened though, a couple of years after I started working at Roseworthy when Istarted judging wines. That was when I started to understand about style. I worked with my father and brother as well as three mentors in the Australian wine industry who really understood style – Robert Heskith (Adelaide Wine Show chairman); Brian Barry (a senior character in the Australian wine industry) and Len Evans ( a bon vivant of the Australian wine industry).
McGuigan Wines is based in the Hunter Valley, what makes that area so special for growing grapes and creating wines?
You have won International Winemaker three times, which is an extraordinary achievement. How does that make you feel – and does it make you set your aspirations and standards even higher?