At McGuigan, the wine is the hero

At McGuigan, the wine is the hero

Those who work at award-winning Australian winery McGuigan Wines have their eyes firmly on the prize.

Mr Neil McGuigan, 55, chief executive of its parent company, Australian Vintage, who is also chief winemaker of McGuigan Wines, says: "For us, the wine is the hero, and if we lose sight of the wine being the hero, we're not going to have a wine business."

The winery is located in Hunter Valley, a well-known wine-making district about 150km north of Sydney. It is known for producing a range of wines, from entry level to premium.

It is Australia's fifth largest producer, and its business also includes contract winemaking for other companies and producing bulk wine.

He says: "We want to make sensational wines at every level as well as create wines that are approachable and enjoyable for people just getting into them."

Mr McGuigan was thrice named International Winemaker Of The Year at the prestigious annual International Wine & Spirit Competition in 2009, 2011 and last year. He is the only winemaker to have received that award three times since the competition began in 1969.

On winning the trifecta, the Hunter Valley born-and-bred winemaker says: "It is unbelievable. It is something you work for your whole life. I had been trying to win that award since 1983. My name's on the trophy, but it's really not just me, it's the business. I've got 18 guys under me and they do a fantastic job."

The winery produces both red and white wines including Shiraz, Merlot, Chardonnay, Semillon, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio.

Price points for its wines in Australia range from A$10 (S$11.60) a bottle to A$120 a bottle.

Here, McGuigan Wines include its affordably priced Black Label series Shiraz, Chardonnay and Merlot wines which are available at Cold Storage supermarkets and priced at $25.80 a bottle.

Its more premium wines, such as the Private Bin, Farm and Handmade series, are available at restaurants such as French, Chinese and Japanese restaurant Me@OUE in Collyer Quay, and steakhouse Prime Society in Dempsey Hill.

To keep up with the times and create new opportunities for itself, the winery has also been innovating new styles and planting new grape varietals.

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