"McWilliams Mt. Pleasant" Top 5 Page for this destination Pokolbin Things to Do Tip by iandsmith
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McWilliam’s Mount Pleasant Estate – nestled in the slopes of the Brokenback Range in NSW’s lower Hunter Valley – was established in 1921 from earlier plantings by legendary winemaker, Maurice O’Shea.
Today, the Hunter Valley is widely regarded as the home of semillon, and McWilliam’s as the producer of Australia’s best wines from the variety.
“Australian semillon is usually quite recognisable,” said Mount Pleasant Chief Winemaker, Phillip Ryan. “When young it is austere and fresh. It has a high natural acidity even in the warm Hunter Valley region where it can age wonderfully. After some years of bottle age, it tends to develop rich buttery toasty flavours.” There's the nitty gritty for you!
O’Shea (1897-1956) recognised the special characteristics and longevity of Hunter Valley table wines – particularly semillon and shiraz – and is today widely regarded as one of the most important and influential figures in the modern Australian wine industry.
In 1921, O’Shea’s family purchased the Old Hill Vineyard (planted by Charles King in the 1880s) and established the Mount Pleasant Winery. O’Shea then progressively extended the estate to include the Old Paddock Vineyard in the 1920s, and the Lovedale and Rosehill vineyards in 1945.
When the McWilliam family acquired ownership of Mount Pleasant in 1941, O’Shea was retained as Chief Winemaker and went on to make some of Australia’s most highly regarded wines.
O’Shea’s ground breaking work has been kept alive by revered winemakers Brian Walsh (1956-1978) and Phillip Ryan (1978-current). The fact that there have been just three Chief Winemakers at Mount Pleasant since 1921 has ensured consistency of wine style and quality.
As was O’Shea’s tradition, Mount Pleasant winemakers continue to bottle-age commercial quantities of wines until they are considered at their peak.
This decision is vindicated by the success of Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon – the most consistently awarded white wine in Australia – which is between three and five years old at the time of release.
Address: Marrowbone Road, Pokolbin
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