Winemaker Neil McGuigan talks of his passion for the wine industry

McGuigan Shortlist Chardonnay, 2011, Adelaide Hills
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?

It is a unique grape growing area – it can be humid and sometimes wet during the summer, but in my opinion it makes the best wines in the world!Neil McGuigan Glass (2)

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?


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Top winemaker Neil McGuigan shares his wine-tasting tips

Memoro Rosato Vino d’Italia NV

BY THE time you read this I will have enjoyed a Girlies’ Night In, with yours truly  in charge of  a wine-tasting challenge.

Other entertainment was to be one Girlie playing tunes on her ukulele.

My plan: To disguise  all bottles in tin foil and to ask the Girlies questions, including guessing the grapes. I will have given tips beforehand, not least to stock  up on hangover cures.

So it feels timely to share some wine-tasting tips from award-winning Australian winemaker Neil McGuigan.

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