Winemaker Adrian Sparks flies to top job at Mount Pleasant

GROWING INTO THE ROLE: Adrian Sparks among the “treasured” Mount Pleasant vines in Marrowbone Road at Pokolbin. He joined McWilliam's in 2002. Picture: Chris Elfes
GROWING INTO THE ROLE: Adrian Sparks among the “treasured” Mount Pleasant vines in Marrowbone Road at Pokolbin. He joined McWilliam's in 2002. Picture: Chris Elfes

THE McWilliam’s family wine company has appointed Adrian Sparks as chief winemaker at its iconic Hunter Valley Mount Pleasant vineyard and winery.

Only the fifth man to hold the post in Mount Pleasant’s 98-year history, he follows in the founding footsteps of legendary Hunter winemaker Maurice O’Shea.

Mr Sparks joined McWilliam’s in 2002, and came to the Hunter in 2014 to work at Mount Pleasant alongside chief winemaker Jim Chatto, who he succeeds. Mr Sparks is a regular judge at wine shows, including the Halliday Chardonnay Challenge, Australian National Wine Show in Canberra and Brisbane Wine Show, and was a 2017 Len Evans Tutorial scholar. He said his new appointment was “an absolute honour and privilege”.

“Mount Pleasant is home to some of the country’s best wines and vineyard sites,” he said. “It’s part of Australia’s winemaking history and working with fruit from vines planted by arguably Australia’s greatest winemaker is certainly something to treasure.”

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