The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) is a non-profit organisation supporting the growth and development of the Australian agricultural industry. This pioneering organisation is host to a number of competitions, education programs and events across New South Wales which promote agricultural excellence, maintain world class standards across the industry and support our rural communities. One of the premier events held each year is one that most Sydney-siders know, the Sydney Royal Easter Show, a celebration of rural traditions and growth into modern day agriculture.
As a part of the Sydney Royal Easter Show, the RAS hosts the annual Sydney Royal Wine Show, a competition which exhibits some of the best wines produced within the Australian Wine Industry. As a pioneer within the Australian Wine Industry, McWilliam’s embodies the values of quality and traditions as part of its winemaking philosophy. These values shared by the RAS, have been the foundation for a long term, close relationship between our organisations. McWilliam’s Wines has been privileged to have been involved in the Sydney Royal Wine Show for over 50 years. In 1973, the RAS recognised McWilliam’s contribution to the wine industry awarding the inaugural ‘JJ McWilliam Memorial Perpetual trophy awarded for Best Brandy’. In 2011, McWilliam’s Wines was awarded the ‘Most Successful Exhibitor at the Sydney Royal Wine Show’ for an unprecedented 17 consecutive years.
As a Wine Steward and Deputy Chief Wine Steward with the Royal Sydney Wine Show, Michael Quirk has experienced the first hand respect and admiration our organisations share with one another. “Our relationship has grown from strength to strength with McWilliam’s continuing to support the RAS as wine supplier during the Easter Show, participant in the Wine Show Committee and the mutual promotion of NSW regional produce,” Quirk said.
In 2016, McWilliam’s was invited to participate in the RAS corner store at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. This gave us the opportunity to showcase our NSW regional McWilliam’s Appellation wines and educate the public on the fantastic wines available in our very own backyard. As McWilliam’s Ambassador, Michael attended the day and talked to many of the general public who were interested in our wines. Michael also conducted a food and wine matching session with Lifestyle Food TV presenter, Lyndey Milan and Chef/Food writer, Julie Ballard to explain the importance of food and wine matching.
Another very important part of our relationship is the McWilliam’s Wine Show Judging Experience. Now in its eighth year, this experience allows for our invited trade partners and McWilliam’s staff to see the inside workings of a major capital city wine show and understand the value and effort placed on the trophies and medals awarded at the show displayed on our bottles. “Guests run through the judging process and scoring as well as taste a range of white and red wines from the previous days judging. The guest’s scores are then compared with the wine show judge’s scores to see how they all went. It’s not as easy as you think!” Quirk said.
The long standing relationship between the RAS and McWilliam’s wines is a testament to the commitment of our organisations in demonstrating the values of quality and traditions. Our mutual goal to grow and improve Australian agriculture, specifically the wine industry is in both our interests. We look forward to evolving our relationship into the future.