Scott McWilliam

Scott McWilliam (@scottmcwilliam) is a 6th generation senior winemaker with McWilliam’s Wines, his family’s wine company that was started in 1877 when the first vines were planted. We talk about everything from the art of winemaking to the history of his family’s company that played a large part in the formation of the Australian wine industry.

-Scott got into winemaking when he was 14 years old and was chosen to clean out the tanks
-He did his first international harvest in the Saint-Emilion region of Bordeaux
-He studied oenology in college and was placed in one of the family’s wineries near New South Wales, Australia
-His dad always said coming out of university, “ So you think you know about making wine; begin to start all over again.”
-How Scott became an ambassador for the company during the release of Hanover Estate label
-At the time of the recording, McWilliam’s was just starting harvest in the Hunter Valley
-McWilliam’s is a multi-regional wine company
-The original vines in the Hunter Valley were planted in 1880
-They source fruit from just about all over Australia
-How the company was founded upon fortified wines
-JJ McWilliam handed the company down to his sons
-Maurice O’Shea, an Australian legend, was one of the first to make table wines in Australia
-The main reason they made and sold fortified wines was that those styles could last over long travel distances
-We get into the history of Maurice O’Shea and his influence in the industry
-We talk about the influence of technology in the wine making process, but how making wine is still an art, especially when it comes to blending
-The Hunter Valley is arguably the best for some wine styles
-“When is the time to pick grapes in the Hunter Valley? When it starts bucketing down with rain!”
-McWilliam’s Maurice O’Shea 2011 Shiraz was named “Shiraz of the Year” for 2015 by James Halliday, which helps to backup the pedigree of McWilliam’s wines
-80% of a wine is made in the vineyard
-McWilliam’s produces roughly 35 million bottles of wine per year. A lot of that is sold in Australia
-The UK, Canada, and US are also large markets for them
-Some interesting emerging markets are Papua New Guinea and Cambodia
-“How do you make a small fortune in the wine industry? You start with a large one.”
-Because of this, they have to innovate (packaging, wine quality, awards, approaching their customers, etc.)
-We talk about the opportunities of the free trade agreement with China
-We talk about the affects of climate change on the global wine industry
-How wine consumption could decrease, or increase in the future
-The Winemakers' Federation of Australia Future Leaders
-We talk about wine industry association boards that Scott is a part of
-The most rewarding part of being a winemaker is sharing something that he creates and seeing the pleasure that people get from it
-Australia’s First Family’s of Wine
-Winemaking is a lifestyle
-Scott’s favorite McWilliams’s wine is the Mount Pleasant Maurice O’Shea Shiraz and his favorite that McWilliams’s does not produce is Reichsrat Von Buhl German Riesling from the Pfalz region.

An oldie but a great way to learn more about Scott and McWilliam's Wines