Hunter Valley in New South Wales was established
as a wine region
in the early 1820s, following the rapid growth of
agricultural and pastoral activities after the arrival
of free settlers.
Further impetus was added by the advent of amateur
viticulturalist James Busby who, returning from the
second of two extensive study tours of the winegrowing
regions of Europe, arrived back in New South Wales
with a named collection of some 500 vine cuttings.
Today, the Hunter Valley is widely regarded as
the home of Semillon, and McWilliam’s Mount Pleasant
as the producer of some of Australia’s best
wines from the variety, including McWilliam’s Mount
Pleasant Lovedale Semillon.
McWilliam’s Mount Pleasant Estate – nestled
in the slopes of the Brokenback Range in the Hunter
Valley – was established in 1921 by legendary
winemaker, the late Maurice O’Shea.
O’Shea then progressively extended the
estate to include the Old Paddock Vineyard in the 1920s.
The Griffith-based McWilliam family, already
a famous Australian wine company, purchased a
Mount Pleasant Estate and encouraged O’Shea
to continue with his winemaking style and creations.
McWilliam’s acquired the remaining share
It was with the McWilliam family’s financial
backing O’Shea selected and purchased the
Lovedale and Rosehill properties and planted
them in 1946.
O’Shea died of lung cancer in 1956, at age
59. Since his death, McWilliam’s Mount
Pleasant has only ever had two other Chief Winemakers:
Walsh (1956-78) and Phil Ryan (1978-current), ensuring
consistency and quality.