Aussies raise a glass in tribute to Ulster's tipplers
An award-winning Australian winemaker has raised a toast to Northern Ireland after selling one million cases in Northern Ireland.
McGuigan Wines, winner of six global wine titles since 2006 including three International Winemaker of the Year accolades, first entered the Northern Ireland market in April 2008.
Irish tipplers drink more McGuigans per head of population than any other country in the world and the company is now launching a new range called Black Label Reserve.
Company chief executive Neil McGuigan, who formed the business with his brother Brian, paid a visit to Belfast from his vineyard in Australia to present a commemorative certificate to Lurgan-based United Wine Merchants, the brand's distributor in Northern Ireland.
Mr McGuigan said that Northern Ireland is a hugely important market for the company and said that the brand's popularity was down to a mix of easy drinking, competitive price and recognisable labelling. McGuigans is now the fifth biggest wine maker in Australia.
United Wine Merchants managing director Martin McAuley said that he is looking forward to doing more business with the company. "United Wine Merchants has worked with McGuigan brothers, Neil and Brian, for many years and we're thrilled to have played our part in helping them achieve the landmark sale," he said.
"Over recent years we have seen the palate of Northern Ireland's wine drinkers grow in sophistication. People know what they like and have a loyalty to labels which provides great sales consistency for McGuigan's."