By Deborah Jackson, editor National Liquor News

The next generation of Australia’s First Families of Wine has formed the AFFW Next Gen Committee, announcing its first four board members last week.

The AFFW Next Gen Committee chairman, Scott McWilliam of McWilliam’s Wines, named Richard Burch of Burch Family Wines, Jessica Hill-Smith of Yalumba and Katherine Brown of Brown Brothers as the first members of the Next Gen board.

Speaking at an informal next generation family lunch, McWilliam said: “The committee was formed through invitation from the senior board and everyone had the chance to nominate for the chairman position. I was fortunate enough to be chosen and am very happy to be involved,” said McWilliam.

“I got to choose the committee members and so Katherine, Richard and Jess are the other members. The main reasons I chose these guys, for starters it’s an equal gender split, there’s a representative from each state and we’ve got a nice cross section of ages and experience.

“The committee will change on a 12 or 18 month rotation which will be in sync with the senior board and our idea is to basically put on any type of event and get exposure, but more importantly to coordinate with each other.”

The first event put on by the Next Gen Committee was a trade and consumer tasting, Unleashed, at the Flour Factory in Perth on Friday night. The sell-out event saw representatives of the next generation from each of the 12 AFFW families showcasing a selection of their wines and gave consumers and trade the opportunity to chat with each family about their histories.

Speaking ahead of Unleashed, McWilliam said: “The committee has worked very hard behind the scenes to try and get tonight to be a success and I know it will be because you’re all charming and charismatic, but more importantly you’re all passionate and you all have a legacy and a family name and you’re going to use your heart and do your families proud.”

Founded in 2009, the AFFW came together to raise the profile and provenance of quality Australian wine, at home and around the world. It has since launched in the UK in 2010, Canada in 2011, China in 2013 and North America this year. 

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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