Ultimate Winery Experiences Australia

Meet the Winemaker - Bernard Hickin, Jacob's Creek

In June 2016 Bernard Hickin will retire as Chief Winemaker - Australia, Pernod Ricard Winemakers.  Bernard joined the business (then G Gramp & Sons) in 1976, the same year Jacob’s Creek officially launched. 

Throughout his 40 years in winemaking, Bernard has made many significant contributions to the business and its brands – he was instrumental in the progressive moves to sparkling wine production and varietal labelling, and has worked passionately to produce an enviable global portfolio of wines for Jacob’s Creek. Bernard was appointed Company Chief Winemaker of Australian brands in 2006, and then Jacob’s Creek Global Chief Winemaker in 2010.

We were lucky enough to snatch a few moments with Bernard for our Meet the Winemaker series.

How long have you worked here?

40 years. 

What made you want to become a winemaker?

A fascination with Bordeaux and Burgundy and the smell and taste of delicious wines, which to this day still excites me.

Which winemakers do you most look up to and why?

I have great respect for both John Vickery and Don Young, who produce some of Australia’s finest dry Rieslings 

What, if anything, do you find stressful about your job?

I get stressed in the lead-up to vintage or grape harvest, when we have adverse weather events that threaten to ruin the grapes. I think it is fair to say this is universally a winemaker’s nightmare!

What wine are you proudest of?

Steingarten Riesling.

What is your favourite wine and why? What do you drink it with?

For White, Steingarten Riesling with very fresh, large, lightly tempura battered SA Garfish with lemon and salt.

For Red, St Hugo Coonawarra Cabernet, with a tasty Indian Vegetarian Curry.