Brian Walsh’s wine experience began as an industrial chemist in the world of business. He took a job in a laboratory in 1952, as an assistant chemist at McWilliam’s Sydney headquarters, while still studying at Sydney Technical College. He received his diploma in 1954 and was able to gain real experience by doing vintage at the McWilliams Riverina winery at Griffith in 1955.

1956 saw Brian taking over from the ailing Maurice O’Shea as winemaker at McWilliam’s Mt Pleasant site, after completing the vintage together. For the next vintage, he had support by the family from the Riverina. The 1958 vintage was the last with help, in for form of Don McWilliam. He learnt a lot quickly, because he had to, and eventually became manager.

Brian’s straight answer summarises well: “The quality of wine is basically fixed at the time of picking and can only be enhanced in small ways by human hands and the common sense application of sound winemaking principles. 

Brian Walsh was inducted as a Legend in 2007.


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