Beneath the Bottle: Vintage with McWilliam’s Andrew Higgins & Mount Pleasant’s Adrian Sparks
April 4, 2019

“There are always great antics that go on at vintage, but you know what they say… what happens at vintage, stays at vintage.”

 

From the outer, one could assume vintage at McWilliams is all fun and games… and that’s the exact ethos chief winemaker Andrew Higgins has built success upon.

 

“Planning and not taking yourself too seriously leads to success,” he said.

 

“I really enjoy working with various teams and groups, such as growers, new cellar staff (just to name a couple) to achieve success.”

 

Despite all the planning that goes into each vintage, it is certainly not without its challenges.

 

Andrew said the region faced “a particularly warm January” which resulted in a “challenging season”.

 

Over at Mount Pleasant, it’s a slightly different story.

 

Chief Winemaker Adrian Sparks is expecting “great” things from Vintage 2019.

 

“The crops were always looking slightly lower than average so we were expecting great fruit concentrating and flavour,” he said.

 

The taste of teamwork is present in every bottle, with the entire winery coming together during the most important time of year.

 

“I love the team building throughout vintage,” Adrian said.

 

“The Hype, the hard work, long hours and the effort everyone puts in is always great.”

 

As for what makes vintage so special?

 

“You can taste what history was like,” Adrian said.

 

“What the season was like in that region always comes through and we should never hide from that by blending away those special vintage characters.”

 

Despite being with McWilliams and Mount Pleasant for over two decades, there’s always one moment that sticks out in Adrian’s mind.

 

“The most memorable part of vintage is putting that last fruit through the crusher.”

 

“Every year.”

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