The Winemaker

Ian MacRae - the man that makes the wines, built the winery.
Ian MacRae – the man that makes the wines, built the winery.

Making wine in the Mudgee region for over 40 years, Miramar winemaker, Ian MacRae, has built his legacy from the ground up.

He constructed Miramar’s winery in the 1970s and visitors to his cellar door will know the winemaker still continues to enjoy “building things”.

“If I were better at Maths, I probably would have been an engineer,” Ian likes to joke.

Yet it is this passion for building and creating quality products that has brought Ian  critical acclaim, and numerous awards and trophies for his wine, since his first vintage at Miramar in 1977.

Ian’s  credentials read like an impressive pedigree; doing his apprenticeship with some of Australia’s leading winemakers.

“I did a couple of vintages, while still a student at Penfolds, under the famous Ray Beckworth, and also with Hardys – both at Siegersdorf and Mile End.  After graduation, I joined Loxton Co-Op where I was involved in bulk winemaking and distillation.”

“I then moved to Kaiser Stuhl (while it was still Nurivin) just as Ian Hickenbotham was creating a new image for Barossa Valley wines. I was assistant to a young German winemaker named Wolf Blass and, when he left a few years later, I took over his position as sparkling winemaker, overseeing the production of thousands of cases of Sparkling Rhinegold and Gala Spumante.  I became responsible for engineering at Kaiser Stuhl and designed most of the modern plant, converting a 1930s tin shed into an up-to-date 15,000 tonne winery.”

Just before vintage in 1975, Ian was commissioned to manage the newly completed Montrose winery in Mudgee.  He completed two vintages and was so impressed by the local wines and the potential he saw in the region, he decided to stay.

“At that time, Craigmore, one of the oldest wineries in Australia, had just begun to produce some of the country’s first Chardonnay, and some of these early examples were very impressive.  Bob Roberts of Huntington Estate had been in business since 1973, and,  I think it was when I tasted his 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon, that I decided Mudgee had all the characteristics to be a great wine area.”

And so began the Miramar story.