Winning new Chief Winemaker at Mount Pleasant

August 27, 2018
By Alana House

Mount Pleasant’s New Chief Winemaker Adrian Sparks has scooped a spate of trophies for the winery at the Hunter Valley Wine Show. 

The vineyard’s 2017 1880 Vines Old Hill Shiraz – sourced from the original vines planted on the estate in 1880 – won five trophies at the Show, including:

Alexander Munro Trophy for Best One Year Old Shiraz

Drayton’s Family Trophy for Best Named Vineyard Red

Len Evans Trophy for Best Named Vineyard Wine

Hector Tulloch Memorial Trophy for Best Shiraz  

Doug Seabrook Memorial Trophy for Best Red Wine of Show

Sparks, who took up the Chief Winemaker position in April this year, said: “We are extremely fortunate to have access to some of the greatest vineyards in the Hunter. 

“It has been a steady process of learning and understanding these vineyards to be able to craft wines that are true to the site and to the winery itself. These results are a deserving reward to a hardworking, dedicated team of people.”

Traditionally known as an estate strong in its whites and specifically Semillon, the winemakers overseen by Group Winemaker, McWilliam’s Wines Group, Jim Chatto have spent many years evolving their red wine program.

As part of this campaign has been the re-establishment of the winemaking philosophy of the Mount Pleasant’s original winemaker, Maurice O’Shea, which the winery believes has brought the Mount Pleasant red wines to impressive new heights.

“The Mount Pleasant red allocation is something the entire McWilliam’s Wines Group winemaking team look forward to every year,” Chatto said. “2017 is no exception, with the full suite of profoundly delicious and unique Hunter Valley wines. Full credit to Adrian Sparks, who has guided these great vineyards expertly from grape to glass.” 

The winery’s flagship Semillon was also recognised at the show with the 2009 Lovedale winning the Graham Gregory Memorial Trophy for Best Museum White.

A further four wines from the 2017 vintage placed well at the show, with Gold medals going to:

2017 Old Paddock & Old Hill Shiraz

2017 Old Paddock 1921 Vines Shiraz

2017 Rosehill 1965 Vines Shiraz  

2017 Maurice O’Shea Shiraz

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