Don McWilliam commenced employment with McWilliam’s Wines in 1951 and completed his first vintage at Mount Pleasant with the legendary Maurice O’Shea in 1954. In 1957, Don was appointed Director of the company and, over the next five decades, played a significant role in the development of both the Hunter Valley and Australian Wine Industries.
He became a Member of the Order of Australia in 2003 in recognition of more than 50 years of service to the Australian Wine Industry. During his career, he was active on the boards of The Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation, The Australian Wine Board, The Australian Wine Research Institute and the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia.
In 1990, Don introduced the prestigious Maurice O’Shea Award and was later recognised himself when he became a patron of the wine industry in 1994 and received the Graham Gregory Award in 1995. Don was a pioneer in the development and expansion of the Hunter Valley and his name is synonymous with the legendary wine styles and brands such as Mount Pleasant Elizabeth, Philip, Old Paddock and Old Hill, Lovedale and Rosehill.`
Don McWilliam was inducted as a Legend in 2011.