Hunter Valley Legends

 

The status of “Hunter Valley Legend” is an honour bestowed on individuals who have given many years of outstanding service to the advancement of the Hunter Valley as a wine producing region. Current Legends induct an industry member who fulfils all criteria as laid down in the Award. 

The Hunter Valley has a rich history as Australia’s oldest wine producing region, built on a foundation of pioneers starting with James Busby in the 1820’s through to Len Evans in more recent years.

Hunter Valley Legends are drawn from latter day pioneers commencing the era of Legends such as Max Lake and Percival McGuigan.

 

Brian Walsh’s wine experience began as an industrial chemist in the world of business. He took a job in a laboratory in 1952, as an assistant chemist at McWilliam’s Sydney headquarters, while still studying at Sydney Technical College. He received his diploma in 1954 and was able to gain real experience by doing vintage at the McWilliams Riverina winery at Griffith in 1955.

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John Tulloch was brought up in the Fordwich area on the Tulloch vineyard and felt he had no reason to leave, knowing what he wanted to do even before he attended high school. He left the Hunter Valley for a little while to attend Agriculture College in Tamworth, but always came home for holidays. Despite his father (unusually) wanting him to work outside the business, at BHP, Tulloch stuck to his desire and carried on the family tradition.  His time-honoured approach to viticulture has proven successful and widely acclaimed.

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Karl Stockhausen arrived in Australia a post-war German immigrant and began work at Lindeman’s, first as a labourer in Pokolbin, and then as clerk/accountant in their Sydney office. He became the manager/winemaker of Ben Ean, and was able to learn winemaking from his mentor, Lindeman’s Ray Kidd. He was obviously a very good student, as he became one of our most awarded Australian winemakers, also shown in the results of his consultancy work.

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Max Drayton is a fourth generation vigneron.  The Drayton family have been in the Hunter Valley for over 160 years so are truly pioneers of the Hunter.  Max was born and raised in Pokolbin and has worked in the family business since he left school in 1946.  In 1989, Max with three of his four sons, John, Trevor and Greg took over the family company of W. Drayton & Sons.

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Percival McGuigan, or Perc as he is best known, developed an interest in wine as a child through sometimes working with his father Owen, who worked in a vineyard at Rothbury. Though originally planning to become a school teacher, McGuigan worked first at Branxton Butter Factory and then at Hexham whilst studying dairy chemistry.

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Doctor Max Lake - Surgeon, winemaker, writer and bon vivant.  Doctor Max Lake was a truly amazing individual - Australia’s first specialist hand surgeon, and later a true giant of the Australian Wine Industry.  Max established Australia’s first boutique winery, Lakes Folly, in the Hunter Valley, on his ‘weekends off’. Widely regarded as the ‘father of the Australian Boutique Wine Industry’, in 1988 The Bulletin Magazine referred to Max as “the man who started the Australian wine boom”.

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Brian McGuigan established his position as one of Australia’s foremost winemakers and marketers when he founded the Wyndham Estate Wine Company at Dalwood in the Hunter Valley in the 1970’s. As Managing Director of the Wyndham Estate Group he built one of the most successful wine companies in Australia. 

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Fay McGuigan has worked tirelessly promoting Hunter Valley wines to the export market, and was considered one of the leaders in the export of Australian wine to the world. 

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Jay Tulloch -J.Y.[Jay] Tulloch is a third generation Hunter Valley vigneron commencing work in the family business in 1962 at the age of 18 years. The business at that time included dairying and grazing interests, as well as winemaking.

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Phil Ryan joined McWilliam’s Wines at the age of 19 years, and is the third of only three Chief Winemakers at McWilliams Mount Pleasant since 1921. 

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Bruce Tyrrell – The Tyrrell family have been producing wine in the Hunter Valley since 1858. It is one of the oldest family wine companies in Australia, and Bruce represents the fourth generation of Tyrrell’s controlling the company.

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Christopher Barnes has worked in the Hunter Valley Wine Industry for 45 years. He began as Manager of Saxonvale Wines which planted 260 hectares of vineyard and built a 2000 tonne winery in the early 1970s, and in 1972 purchased Drayton’s Happy Valley cellar door sales.  He later planted his own vineyards in Pokolbin, and established Blaxlands Restaurant and wine sales.

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Don McWilliam commenced employment with McWilliam’s Wines in 1951 and completed his first vintage at Mount Pleasant with the legendary Maurice O’Shea in 1954. In 1957, Don was appointed Director of the company and, over the next five decades, played a significant role in the development of both the Hunter Valley and Australian Wine Industries. 

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Patrick Auld came to the Hunter Valley in 1973 to work for Brian McGuigan at the Hermitage Winery development. In April 1974, he joined Tulloch Wines as a Laboratory Assistant and, in 1979, was appointed Winemaker. 

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Ian Scarborough is the patriarch of the family and known by many in the region simply as Scarbie. After graduating from Roseworthy College in 1969 with a Diploma of Oenology, Ian worked with Peter Lehmann at Saltrams from 1970–72.

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Kevin Sobels began his winemaking career in a winery owned by the Hardy family in Waikerie, South Australia under the guidance of his soon to be father in law. He spent two years working here before being appointed as assistant winemaker at the Saltrams winery in the Barossa. 

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Ken Bray is widely regarded as the Hunter Valley’s leading viticulturist. Ken has been responsible for tending some of the regions’ most cherished vineyards for almost 40 years.  

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Alain Le Prince Hunter Valley Legend Awards 2017

In the early 1970’s Alain Le Prince paved his way working in the vineyard at Rothbury Estate, as Vineyard Manager for Tyrrell’s Wines and planting and managing his own Chardonnay vineyard in Pokolbin. 

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WINEMAKER OF THE YEAR

2007                   

Andrew Spinaze - Tyrrell's Vineyards                                                                                                                               

2008

Andrew Thomas - Thomas Wines

2009

Jim Chatto - Pepper Tree Wines

2010

PJ Charteris  - Brokenwood Wines

2011

Liz Jackson - First Creek Wines

2012

Nick Paterson - Dugliani Winemaking & Consulting

2013

Peter Hall - McGuigan Wines

2014

Andrew Thomas - Thomas Wines

2015

Mike De Iuliis - De Iuliis Wines

2016

Liz Jackson - First Creek Wines

VITICULTURALIST OF THE YEAR

2007                   

Mt. Pleasant Lovedale Vineyard                                                                                                                                     

2008

Ken Bray - Hunter Valley Vineyard Management

2009

Ian Tinkler - Tinkler's Vineyard

2010

Brett Keeping - Two Rivers

2011

Liz Riley - Vitibit Pty Ltd

2012

Carl Davies - Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard

2013

Katrina Barry & Keith Barry - Brokenwood Wines

2014

Louise Eather, Pernod Ricard Winemakers - Wyndham Estate

2015

Andrew Margan - Margan Wines

2016

Paul Harvey - Mount Pleasant Wines

RISING STAR OF THE YEAR

2007                   

Chrisinta Tulloch - Tulloch Wines                                                                                                                                

2008

Usher Tinkler - Pooles Rock Wines

2009

Sarah Crowe - Brokenwood Wines

2010

Matt Burton - Wandin Valley Estate

2011

Jeff Byrne - Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard

2012

Chris Tyrrell - Tyrrell Vineyards

2013

Sally Scarborough - Scarborough Wine Co.

2014

Belinda Stapleton - Spicers Vineyards Estate & Restaurant Botanica

2015

Joint Winner - Troy & Megan Rhoades-Brown, Muse Restaurant & Muse Kitchen AND Gwyn Olsen, Briar Ridge

2016

Belinda Paterson - Sebel Kirkton Park Hunter Valley

CELLAR DOOR OF THE YEAR

2007                   

Tulloch Wines                                                                                                                                                              

2008

McWilliam's Mount Pleasant

2009

Scarborough Wine Co.

2010

Brokenwood Wines

2011

Pepper Tree Wines

2012

Hungerford Hill Wines

2013

Margan Family Wines

2014

Tulloch Wines

2015

Tyrrell's Wines 

2016

De Iuliis Wines 

HERITAGE AWARD

2009                   

Edward Tyrrell's Slab Hut - Tyrrell's Vineyards                                                                                                                   

2010

Old Cellar  - Drayton's Family Wines & Old Vats at Audrey Wilkinson Vineyards

2011

The Old Still House - Ben Ean Winery &  Maurice O'Shea Mount Pleasant Label - Mount Pleasant Winery

2012

Tulloch Wines, Pokolbin Dry Red Label

2013

Halls Cottage circa 1876 - Roberts Restaurant circa 1876

2014

Marthaville Homestead & the 1973 Vintage Festival Poster

 

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