McWilliam’s Wines Group has today confirmed that after four years at the winery, Adrian Sparks will move into the role of Chief Winemaker at Mount Pleasant.

Sparks becomes only the fifth Chief Winemaker at Mount Pleasant in the winery’s 98-year history, taking over from Jim Chatto, who will become the Group Winemaker – McWilliam’s Wines Group.

McWilliam’s said that having worked across the McWilliam’s portfolio for 16 years and the last four at Mount Pleasant, Sparks “has a great respect and love for both the Hunter Valley wine region and the heritage of the brand he now heads up”.

“It is an absolute honour and privilege to be given this opportunity. Mount Pleasant is home to some of the country’s best wines and vineyard sites. It’s part of Australia’s winemaking history and has a really authentic story to tell,” Sparks said.

“Working with fruit from vines planted by arguably Australia’s greatest winemaker is certainly something to treasure and upholding that outstanding quality is something I’ll never become complacent with. The future is exciting.”

Chatto said that he has seen Sparks develop during his four-year tenure at the helm of Mount Pleasant and believes that he will uphold the integrity of the Mount Pleasant name, continuing the tradition of crafting benchmark Hunter Valley wines.

“Since joining Mount Pleasant in 2014, Adrian has fully embraced the unique sites and legacy of Maurice O’Shea. Adrian is a highly skilled and intuitive winemaker, with soft, yet sure, hands. He will undoubtedly carve his own path, whilst being true to the vision of our country’s most celebrated winemaker,” Chatto said.

“I look forward to working closely with Adrian on the next chapter of the great Australian wine story that is Mount Pleasant.”

McWilliam’s said that Sparks will oversee all winemaking and viticultural efforts that take place on the Mount Pleasant site while Chatto will oversee the entire McWilliam’s Wines Group winemaking efforts “offering himself to blending and style direction and mentoring teams to finesse their brands and craft”.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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