For consistency and quality of product, screwcap is unbeatable which is why we use it across the majority of our products.

Cork’s a natural product which means no two are ever the same, which can impact quality – if too much air is able to pass through the cork, the wine will spoil. Occasionally bad cork can get into the wine, something called ‘Trichloroanisole’ (TCA), or ‘cork taint’. It’s not going to harm the drinker, but it will make the wine taste or smell a little funky, like mouldy cardboard.

What do you find is the hardest part of any harvest?...

It would have to be the long hours and spending time away from my kids.

Harvest can last anything from eight to 12 weeks, depending on the season. During this time we usually work six or seven days per week, 12 – 14 hours per day. And, the winemaker is always on call, which could mean a call out during the middle of the night.

My husband is also a winemaker, we support each other and our family during harvest time. Our children love learning about the winemaking process and, although it’s too busy for them to come to the winery during harvest, we’ve even started to make our own batch at home.

We love your branding. What is the story behind the infamous Gary from your awesome ‘Don’t Tell Gary’ Shiraz?? And, is that the real Gary on the label??...

A few vintages back, I was approached by a neighbouring winemaker who had some spare Shiraz grapes he needed to sell. The fruit was outstanding, so he said. But, it was way more than I’d usually spend and besides, I’d spent my budget for that year. So I declined and thought nothing of it.

A few months later the same winemaker called again offering the same grapes at a fraction of the cost. I didn’t have the budget for the grapes but knew they would be a steal at this price. So, myself

The debate rumbles on but in your opinion, corks or screwcaps?...

Without a doubt, screwcap.

and Michelle in our accounts team found a way to borrow the money from the next year’s budget but agreed we don’t tell Gary (Williams), our winery’s General Manager.

Then I needed barrels to age the wine in, so Michelle and I sourced some ridiculously expensive French oak barrels, again agreeing we don’t tell Gary.

Don’t Tell Gary or ‘DTG’ became our code name for the wine and it stuck. We then sought the creative help of Louise in Marketing and with her usual aplomb and minimal fuss created the Don’t tell Gary label

Is that the real Gary on the bottle? No, he’s a lot grumpier! Only joking Gary. I’ll let you decide if it’s really him or not…

On the other hand, screwcaps offer a consistent, affordable closure which enables us to control the levels of oxygen within the wine. We’re also able to adapt colours and design of the caps which adds to the wider user experience.

I mentioned we use screwcaps across the majority of our products, as we occasionally do wine under cork for China where they believe cork equals quality. But, for the rest of our global customers, its screwcaps or even crown caps.

What does the future hold for McPherson Wines? Another 50 years of innovative and ground- breaking wines one would expect.

Hopefully we’ll continue to grow and evolve, but the important thing is to never compromise quality.

We don’t have any dreams to take over the wine world, that’s not what we want to do. If we get too big we could lose our family feel.

OK, we’ve rubbed the magic lamp and the genie has said that you can have any bottle of wine ever produced for your cellar. What’s it going to be?...

If the genie’s buying, I’ll go for the most expensive possible! Maybe a Chateau Latour 2009, or an Armand de Brignac Brut Gold (Ace of Spades).

On a usual day (or if I’m buying), I’ll usually reach for one of my wines, either the Sunburnt Chardonnay or the Bella McPherson Pinot Grigio. We drink these at home, they’re really nice and refreshing - our ‘five o clocker’ wines. And, of course, the pours get bigger on Fridays!

OCTOBER 2017 11

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