The Hunter Valley's Neil McGuigan has been named International Winemaker of the Year for an unprecedented fourth time at the highly prestigious International Wine & Spirits Competition in London.
It makes McGuigans the only winery in the world to have claimed the title four times - having also been acknowledged in 2009, 2011 and 2012.
In doing so, McGuigans beat off strong competition from France, Spain, Italy, Germany and the USA.
To complete an outstanding evening in London, the winery was also awarded the coveted Australian Producer of the Year title - again, for an unprecedented fourth time.
The awards followed McGuigans’ strong medal haul which included two trophies, three Gold Outstanding, one Gold, six Silver Outstanding, 24 Silver and 12 Bronze.
Chief winemaker Neil McGuigan was on hand to collect the awards and was understandably elated.
"To be the only winery crowned International Winemaker of the Year four times is extremely humbling. I am immensely proud of this achievement and what this award means for Australia and McGuigan Wines.
"These awards are as much for the Australian wine industry as they are for us. We continue to be incredibly honoured to represent Australia on the world stage.
“We have a long-standing association with Hunter Valley Semillon, and we’re incredibly proud of it, but we’re now gaining recognition for our super-premium reds thanks to their incredible flavour, lightness, elegance and longevity.”
Two trophies - from a competition total of 16 - were awarded to the 2003 McGuigan BIN 9000 Semillon (Semillon Trophy) and the 2007 McGuigan Hand Made Shiraz (Syrah Trophy). This is the sixth year in a row McGuigan Wines has been awarded the Semillon Trophy.
McGuigan Wines senior winemaker Hunter Valley Peter Hall was equally thrilled.
"This award is testament to our unwavering commitment to over-delivering on quality at all price points,” he said. “This is the ultimate vindication of our philosophy of making ‘the wine the hero’."
The success of the Hunter semillon, in particular, brought a smile to his face.
"The Hunter Valley already has the reputation as the iconic area in the world for semillon.
“This is just further confirmation that it deserves this status."
So, what are the plans for the McGuigans wine team to celebrate?
"Are we going to crack something nice? You bet.
“Our teams across Australia will be enjoying a glass of our trophy winning semillon this afternoon, and we might just do the same."
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