Neil McGuigan has been named the 2022 Hunter Valley Wine Industry Living Legend at the 2022 Hunter Valley Legends & Wine Industry Awards.
McGuigan is the fourth member of his family invested as a Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Legend, with the honour bestowed at gala dinner in Pokolbin. Now 64, McGuigan retired in 2019 after nine years as CEO-chief winemaker of Australian Vintage, producer of brands including McGuigan, Tempus Two and Nepenthe.
McGuigan’s career highlights include being crowned International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC) winemaker of the year four times and winning the London International Wine Challenge white winemaker of the year award four times.
Inducting this year’s 28th and 29th Living Legends, Master of Ceremonies and 2021 Living Legend Iain Riggs AM thanked Neil McGuigan and Philip Hele OAM, 2022 Hunter Valley Tourism Industry Living Legend for their significant contributions over a combined more than 60 years.
After close to 50 years of active service to the industry, Brian McGuigan AM was announced as Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association Honorary Patron.
Guests acknowledged and celebrated Brian McGuigan’s incredibly valuable contribution and long-term dedication to the Association and wider industry.
Liz Silkman was named First Creek Winemaking Services 2022 Hunter Valley Winemaker of the Year. Silkman previously won the prestigious title in 2011 and 2016 and becomes the first Winemaker to win this award three times.
The title of 2022 Viticulturist of the Year was awarded to Jerome Scarborough of Scarborough Wine Co. with his sustainable vineyard practices and commitment to industry development praised by the judges.
Previously the Award for Excellence, this year’s Outstanding Contribution by an Individual was awarded to Christina Tulloch, CEO, Tulloch Wines. During her nine years as CEO of Tulloch Wines and two years as President of the Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association, Tulloch’s unwavering commitment to the Hunter Valley wine industry was described as exemplary.
Briar Ridge Vineyard winemaker, Alex Beckett, took out the title of Young Achiever of the Year. The award recognises an individual less than 35 years of age and working in the Hunter Valley for their contribution to the development of a vibrant and professional wine and tourism industry.
The inaugural 2022 Hunter Valley Tourism Operator of the Year was awarded to Beyond Ballooning, and the inaugural 2022 Hunter Valley Accommodation Operator of the Year to Spicers Guesthouse. De Iuliis Wines took out the title of Wine Selectors 2022 Hunter Valley Cellar Door of the Year.