A Chinese owned Yarra Valley vineyard was named Winery of the Year by Australia’s leading wine expert, James Halliday, at the 2019 Halliday Wine Companion Awards. This is the highest accolade awarded after months of testing from hundreds of Australia’s best wineries.
Owned by Yiping Yang, a businessman from China’s Guangxi province and run by Dylan McMahon, the grandson of the founders, the award is hailed as a success of the marriage of winemaking tradition and the commercial might of China.
Seville Estate also won The Best Shiraz and The Best Pinot Noir Prizes at the Halliday Wine Companion Awards. They are 2017 Seville Estate Old Vine Reserve Yarra Valley Pinot Noir VIC (99 points) and 2015 Seville Estate Dr McMahon Yarra Valley Shiraz VIC (99 points).
Located at the foot of Yarra Valley, the 12-hectare vineyard was founded in 1972 by a local GP, Peter McMahon, and his wife Margaret, with Peter starting out as a garage winemaker.
The estate produces good quality Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling wines despite being in a cool climate region.
With Australian wine exports to China recently cracking the $1 billion mark, some local media believed that Seville Estate represents a future business model for other vineyards to follow, relying on local winemaking skills and offshore capital to produce award-winning vintages.
The vineyard was sold to Chinese owner Yang in February last year. Since then he has taken a hands-off approach, preferring to support its expansion behind the scenes allowing the founding family continue to make the wines.
Since the change of ownership, a restaurant and hotel accommodation have been added and the vineyard area expanded.
Yang also runs a successful chain of wine shops in China. With the popularity of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon among Chinese consumers, wines from Seville Estate fit well the demands of the China market.
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