Australian winemakers star at International Wine Challenge

10 July, 2019 by Andy Young

Australia has put in another strong performance at the prestigious International Wine Challenge, with McGuigan Wines and Bird in Hand named as the White Winemaker of the Year and Red Winemaker of the Year respectively.

McGuigan Wines is now the only Australian winery to win the White Winemaker of the Year award four times, following previous wins in 2009, 2012 and 2013.

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The 2019 White Winemaker of the Year award crowns McGuigan Wines’ strong performance across this year’s IWC, where it won a total of four Gold, 11 Silver and 14 Bronze medals. The Gold medals were awarded to the McGuigan Personal Reserve Shiraz 2017, McGuigan Shortlist Chardonnay 2015, McGuigan Shortlist Riesling 2013 and McGuigan Cellar Select Chardonnay 2017, with the latter also claiming two International Trophies for Eden Valley Riesling and New South Wales Chardonnay.

Chief Winemaker for McGuigan Wines, Neil McGuigan, said: “To have received the White Winemaker of the Year award four times in the last decade is unprecedented and extremely humbling. I am immensely proud of our achievements at this year’s show, which are a testament to the commitment of our winemaking team. Every time an Australian wine is recognised at international wine competitions it puts Australia on the map and highlights the quality being produced.

“We continue to be incredibly honoured to represent Australia on the global stage. Award wins such as this reinforce the reputation of Australian wine and demonstrate we have truly earned our place among the world’s best wines.”

Bird in Hand’s Dylan Lee and Kym Milne MW were named as the Red Winemaker of the Year following a strong showing in the competition. The Adelaide Hills winery won two trophies, plus four Gold, three Silver and three Bronze medals.

The Bird in Hand trophies went to the Bird in Hand 2017 Shiraz and the 2017 Bird in Hand Syrah. Those two wines also scored Gold medals along with the 2014 Nest Egg Shiraz and 2015 Nest Egg Cabernet Sauvignon.

Lee has worked under the guidance of Winemaking Director Milne for eight years and said he is honoured to win the award.

“I am delighted and humbled to win an international award of this level, and it is a credit to our dedicated, passionate and hardworking winery team. For us, being awarded on a global stage for wines across different varieties, styles and vintages is particularly pleasing as it shows that we have been able to maintain a high level of consistency in our winemaking,” Lee said.

Bird in Hand winery founder, Andrew Nugent added: “As a family winery, we are so grateful to be able to showcase globally the elite artisan winemaking of South Australia and in particular our Adelaide Hills home. Dylan Lee, Kym Milne and the entire winery team have set a standard to be at the pinnacle of world winemaking and results like these are a wonderful recognition of their rare skill and dedication.”