By James Atkinson
In a feat unprecedented by any winery, McGuigan Wines has claimed the title of 'world's best winemaker' for the third time in four years at the prestigious International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) in London.
Having already won the award in 2009 and 2011, McGuigan Wines was awarded the title of International Winemaker of the Year at the awards ceremony in central London on 14th November.
In the 43-year history of the competition no winery, whether from the Old World or New World, has ever been awarded International Winemaker of the Year three times.
The key to winning the latest International Winemaker of the Year trophy was McGuigan Wines' performance across the competition, with an unrivalled and rarely achieved 100 per cent success rate – 39 wines entered; 39 medals received. McGuigan Wines was awarded the International Semillon Trophy in addition to 9 Gold, 22 Silver and 8 bronze medals including eight 'Best in Class' awards.
Australian Vintage marketing director Scott Burton told TheShout the company was blown away by the "amazing" result.
"I think we're still trying to come to grips with it," he said.
Burton said McGuigan's recent successes can be traced back to the return of Neil McGuigan to the business a few years ago.
"When Neil rejoined the business first as head of production and then as our CEO, he was absolutely focused in driving quality across the portfolio," he said.
"Hats off to the production guys from the vineyard through to the winery for consistently producing excellent quality wines in all price points."
The backbone of the success was the highly decorated McGuigan Bin 9000 Semillon, with the 2004 vintage taking home the title of International Semillon Trophy. In addition the 1997 and 2011 vintages won Gold 'Best in Class' whilst the 2003 and 2005 vintages of the Bin 9000 Semillon were awarded Gold. The 2009 vintage of McGuigan Farms Shiraz from the Barossa Valley also won Gold 'Best in Class' as did the 2007 McGuigan Shortlist Semillon.
Click 'play' to watch a video of Neil McGuigan reacting to the award
On accepting the award, McGuigan Wines chief winemaker Neil McGuigan said: "We can now proudly say that we are now one of the most awarded wineries in the world."
"What is particularly pleasing with the latest award is that our 2012 results outshone our previous performance at the IWSC in 2011, which in turn improved on our results in 2009. A 100 per cent success rate is as good as it gets, with 31 wines receiving a Silver medal or better."
Globally, McGuigan Wines enjoyed a 17 per cent increase in volume sales in the last financial year, and now sells 2.4 million cases world-wide. Value sales grew 23 per cent domestically and 12 per cent across all export markets.