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Peter Lehmann Wines Chief Winemaker Andrew Wigan to retire at year’s end, Senior Winemaker Ian Hongell named successor

2 July 2014

Ian Hongell will step up to the role of Chief Winemaker in January 2015 following the retirement of founding winemaker Andrew Wigan at the end of this year.

CEO Jeff Bond says the appointment is a natural evolution in the winemaking team, building on Wigan’s achievements at the winery over the past 35 years.

“Andrew and Ian have worked together for 16 years, and taken winemaking to new levels,” Bond says. “This followed the formidable working partnership of Andrew and Peter Lehmann which began years before our winery was established in 1979.

“Ian is a talented and innovative winemaker, and staunch defender of the values Peter Lehmann Wines was founded on. He is looking forward to pursuing the continued development into vineyards and greater diversification of varieties in recent years.”

Bond tributes Wigan’s career as “a significant chapter in the story of Australian wine.”

“His winemaking skills turned a struggling start-off winery, founded during a dark time in the industry, into one of the most respected brands in the country.”

Wigan’s achievements include winning the Jimmy Watson Trophy for the 1989 Stonewell Shiraz, and being named International Wine and Spirit Competition’s International Winemaker of the Year in 2003 and 2006.

The tradition of collective winemaking will continue with Wigan consulting to Hongell’s team – Peter Kelly, Tim Dolan and viticulturalist Nigel Blieschke - on fruit intake, planning and classification tastings from vintage 2015.

While he is looking forward to reducing his golf handicap, Wigan will also continue to fly the flag for Peter Lehmann and Australian wine as a travelling ambassador.

“When we started out, we never dreamed that anyone outside Australia would ever want to drink Australian wine,” Wigan says. “To see the Peter Lehmann brand known internationally today is an honour. I know it is in good hands with Ian, and I look forward to sharing his wines and his vision with the world from next year.”

To download the media release as a PDF, please click here.

For further information:
Jeff Bond: 08 8565 9500; jeff.bond@peterlehmannwines.com

Released by Farm Thirteen:
Fiona Sainty: 0419 489 055; fiona@farm13.com.au

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