OUR HISTORY & HERITAGE

OUR HISTORY & HERITAGE

With six consecutive generations of winemakers and over 140 years of experience, the wines we make are more than just quality, award-winning wines. They are wines that tell the story of our family and a century long love affair with winemaking.

1830

1830

Samuel McWilliam is born in Raloo, Northern Ireland.

1857

1857

Samuel McWilliam arrives in Melbourne aboard the “Morning Light”.

1868

1868

John James (J.J.) McWilliam is born.

1877

1877

Samuel McWilliam plants his first vines on the outskirts of Corowa, NSW.

1902

1902

Samuel McWilliam passes away and his daughters purchase Sunnyside Vineyard.

1913

1913

J.J. McWilliam carts 50,000 vines to the Riverina, pioneering the wine industry in the region. He plants them in a nursery and waters the vines from water sourced elsewhere until irrigation arrives the following year.

1917

1917

J.J. McWilliam opens the Hanwood Estate winery.

1935

1935

The first McWilliam’s wines are exported internationally.

1941

1941

The McWilliam family acquire Mount Pleasant estate in the Hunter Valley. THE Legendary Maurice O’Shea, who was retained as Chief Winemaker, went on to make some of Australia’s greatest wines.

1960

1960

McWilliam’s release their first varietal table wines to accommodate Australian’s growing appreciation of premium table wines. Previously, the nation was very much driven by spirits and fortified wines.

1973

1973

A new Cellar Door at Hanwood Estate is opened. The building, which is shaped to the precise scale of a wine barrel, was designed by Glen McWilliam. The Cellar Door remains at the site today.

1977

1977

McWilliam’s Family Winemakers celebrate their centenary. This marks the 100 year anniversary of when Samuel McWilliam planted his first vines on the outskirts of Corowa, NSW.

1986

1986

Jim Brayne is appointed McWilliam’s Chief Winemaker. Today, Jim remains active as the Chairman on McWilliam’s Wines Board of Directors.

2004

2004

The demand for McWilliam’s wines in Australia and across the globe continues to grow, with 500,000 cases of McWilliam’s Hanwood Estate wines sold.

2010

2010

Wine & Spirits survey names McWilliam’s Hanwood Estate as the number one Australian wine brand in restaurants across the United States of America.

2012

2012

McWilliam’s is awarded Most Successful Exhibitor at the Sydney Royal Wine Show for an unprecedented 18th consecutive year.

2016

2016

Jeff McWilliam, fifth generation, is appointed Chief Executive Officer.

2016

2016

McWilliam’s 1877 Hilltops Shiraz awarded Best Australian Shiraz at the International Wine Challenge.

2017

2017

McWilliam’s Wines celebrates 140 years since Founder Samuel McWilliam’s planted his first vines on the outskirts of Corowa, NSW.