Group Chief Winemaker - McWilliam's Wines Group
It’s no understatement to say that Jim Chatto knows his wines. Jim has delivered over twenty Hunter Valley vintages and has been a wine judge of note for the last 14 years. If that wasn’t enough, Jim has been at the helm of McWilliam’s winemaking since 2013, overseeing not only the entire winemaking process but also the stylistic approach of the McWilliam’s range.
Jim’s vision for McWilliam’s is to develop interesting wines which offer unique styles. ‘Our cool climate ranges sourced from regions such as Tumbarumba and Hilltops, personify everything we love about cool climate wine. Pure and elegant, yet intense wines; with great natural balance making them perfect for so many occasions.
Chief Winemaker - McWilliam's Wines
Andrew Higgins is a man devoted to the wine industry, why else would you complete not one but two industry relevant degrees? By attaining a detailed knowledge of not just wine science but also viticulture Andrew or Higgo as he is known, has been able to blend his practical knowledge with a creative flair. This balance in wine understanding has led to him now being responsible for overseeing the stylistic development and winemaking across the McWilliam’s range.
Unlike many winemakers, Andrew is of the opinion that price is not a true reflection of quality. In fact his advice when choosing your wine from the shelf is refreshingly honest ‘don’t get too hung up on everything, it’s only a drink. Be adventurous’. This is supported by his own vision for McWilliam’s which is to ‘deliver contemporary wines of a superb quality’. Indeed, Andrew sees the future of winemaking as ‘continuing to aim for more food friendly wines, but with greater concentration of fruit flavour’.
Senior Commercial and Export Winemaker
Ask Russell Cody, the straight talking senior member of the McWilliam’s winemaking team, what it takes to make a career in wine and you’ll get a blunt answer ‘be prepared for hard work as it is not all beer and skittles. Fine wine takes time and lots of hard yakka!’ Russell speaks with some authority. He started his winemaking career in 1989 and joined the celebrated McWilliam’s team back in 1995. Twenty odd years on, Russell is a senior winemaker, wine judge and one of the most respected wine experts in the industry.
He is also a winemaker with a clear philosophy ‘great wines are made in the vineyard’ he states. Russell places strong emphasis on good vineyard management practices, and to sourcing the most appropriate, high-quality fruit available. This philosophy marries with Russell’s continuing passion for the Australian wine industry, as he says ‘we are still in an exciting early phase of making great table wine in Australia as we continue to pioneer the best varieties in each region that suits them’.