By Andy Young

Pernod Ricard Winemakers has appointed a new chief winemaker for Jacob's Creek following Bernard Hickin's retirement after 40 years with the company.

Hickin joined the business in 1976, when it was called G Gramp & Sons. That was also the same year that Jacob's Creek officially launched.

Brett McKinnon, global operations director for Pernod Ricard Winemakers said: "We are extremely grateful for the contribution that Bernard has made towards our success. He will be missed by the team and we wish him all the very best for his retirement."

During his 40 years in winemaking, Hickin was instrumental in the progressive moves to sparkling wine production and varietal labelling, and worked on producing the global portfolio of wines for Jacob’s Creek. Hickin was appointed company chief winemaker of Australian brands in 2006, and then Jacob’s Creek global chief winemaker in 2010.

Hickin will be succeeded by Ben Bryant, who joined Pernod Ricard Winemakers (then Orlando Wines) in 2000. Bryant has held a number of pivotal winemaking, operational, marketing and brand development positions, including chief winemaker for Wyndham Estate. 

Commenting on his appointment, Bryant said: “I have inherited not only a world-class brand in Jacob’s Creek, but a world-class team of passionate winemakers who have worked tirelessly to make the brand what it is today – and I look forward to joining them on the next stage of the journey.”

Hickin will remain with Pernod Ricard Winemakers until June 2016 as international winemaker.

The Shout Team

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