Tuesday, 12 April 2016

A quiet celebration to mark 20 years of Margan Wines

Andrew and Lisa Margan are among my favourite wine people. 

Not only do they produce a fine range of wines from the Hunter Valley at sensible prices, they are operate a great cellar door and eatery in a dramatically beautiful setting.

They experiment with different grape varieties, grow their own produce for their restaurant and always seem to be having a great time. 

And, while bringing up a young family, they also seem to have discovered the secret of eternal youth. They just don't change. 

Margan Family Wines celebrates its 20th birthday in May, with a series of events and a new range of wines to mark the milestone.


The Margan story began two decades ago when young Tyrrell’s winemaker Andrew Margan decided to have a go himself and make wine under his own name. His parents had a vineyard in the Hunter Valley in the 1970s so there was already wine in his DNA. 

Armed with a purchase order from a wine club he was able to fund the costs for the first wines. After that he and wife Lisa, were on their own. 

Today, Andrew Margan is chief winemaker and viticulturist, while Lisa is executive chef, develops the ‘estate grown’ projects (lambs, bees, garden and deli goods) and manages the Margan Restaurant and Cellar Door. 

There is now a team of 30 staff across the business spanning winery sales, vineyard, cellar door, restaurant and admin.

The wines, restaurant and cellar door have picked up numerous awards, with Andrew Margan being named Viticulturist of the Year and Lisa Margan being awarded Excellence in Food Tourism at the National Tourism Awards, both last year.

And now the next generation is also coming through, with the couple's eldest son Ollie just about to finish a double degree in winemaking and viticultural science at the University of Adelaide. Daughter Alessa is studying communications at UTS while working in wine and food PR (and provided much of the info for this story) and their other son, James, is studying economics at Sydney University.

Today the Margan family owns 100 hectares of its own vineyards – including icon Hunter varieties semillon and shiraz and pioneering varieties including barbera and albarino (yes, real albarino, not savagnin). 

Production has grown to around 30,000 cases a year with the new "Breaking Ground" range featuring an albarino and a tempranillo graciano shiraz launched on May 1 to mark the 20th birthday milestone. The albarino is a stunner

There was a fabulous tasting and lunch on May 26 to mark the birthday, with vertical tastings of aged semillons and shirazes, shiraz mourvedre blends, botrytis semillopns and the "first-ever" Hunter tasting of barbera..

It was, as you would expect, a fun affair. 

For more details see www.margan.com.au 

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