Andrew Higgins

Premium Winemaker/Viticulture Manager

The opportunity to blend practical knowledge with creative flair is what appealed to winemaker Andrew Higgins when he decided on a career in winemaking. He is now responsible for overseeing the stylistic development and winemaking across the range of McWilliam’s Wines.

Andrew has completed a Wine Science Degree from Charles Sturt University and is currently completing a Viticultural degree. He has completed two vintages in California and one vintage in Northern Rhone, France.

Andrew believes that Hilltops and Tumbarumba, the cooler climate regions from where McWilliam’s source, remain relatively untapped as a premium wine source. His role at McWilliam’s presents the opportunity to bring wines from these regions to greater attention.

His goal for the McWilliam brand is to deliver contemporary wines of superb quality.

Russell Cody

Senior Commercial and Export Winemaker

Russell Cody is McWilliam’s Senior Group Winemaker based at Hanwood. Russell joined McWilliam’s in 1995 as a winemaker and took up his present position in 2006.

He previously held assistant winemaking positions at Mildara Blass (1989-1994) and Yellowglen (1985-1989), both based in Victoria; and has completed a Bachelor of Applied Science (Wine Science) degree at Charles Sturt University.

In recent years, Russell has also been a key part of the team developing lower alcohol wines for consumers and also works across the fortified portfolio. Russell was also a key member of the winemaking team that developed McWilliam’s “1877” Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz, released in 2002 to commemorate the company’s 125th anniversary.

Russell is a firm believer in the philosophy that “great wines are made in the vineyard”. He places emphasis on good vineyard management practices, and to sourcing the most appropriate, high-quality fruit available.

He is known for his accomplished palate and is Chairman of the Ballarat Wine Show, as well as a panel chairman at the Hobart, Rutherglen, Cowra, Griffith and Australian Small Winemakers shows.

In addition to his technical excellence, Russell is also an accomplished and entertaining speaker on both red and white wines, with the ability to describe wines and the winemaking process in a down to earth manner.

The best thing about working at the family owned McWilliam’s company, says Russell, is the opportunity to work with some of the country’s best winemakers, and to absorb the knowledge garnered from the company’s prestigious 135 year history.