Fine wine in­spires judge’s ca­reer change

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Street Watch -

TAST­ING a nice bot­tle of wine in a Bris­bane restau­rant where he worked was the cat­a­lyst for Ed­die McDougall to ex­plore a ca­reer in the wine busi­ness.

“I tested it as a novice… nor­mally I drank the cheap­est wine that came in the big­gest box I could find,” the 2015 Qan­tas Wine Show in­ter­na­tional judge said.

“It in­spired me to learn how to make it.

“I moved to Vic­to­ria and did a wine, tech­nol­ogy and viti­cul­ture course as a post­grad­u­ate.”

The Hong Kong-born busi­ness­man, who moved to Aus­tralia aged 11, com­pleted his de­gree part-time so he could work in the industry at the same time.

How­ever, in 2008, his fa­ther be­came ill so he went back to Hong Kong.

Mr McDougall said his fa­ther, an in­no­va­tor who started as a dairy farmer in Bris­bane, was his in­spi­ra­tion, in­vent­ing parts for the Rem­ing­ton hair-dryer and most fa­mously the Col­gate elec­tric tooth­brush.

Fol­low­ing his fa­ther’s death in 2008, Mr McDougall pur­sued a win­ery in the Barolo re­gion of north­ern Italy for work.

“I must have sent them 100 emails and made 20 tele­phone calls,” he said. “They in­vited me to work with them for their har­vest.”

Mr McDougall still re­turns to the win­ery ev­ery year to har­vest, but is based in Hong Kong with his wife Fred­er­ica and 10-mon­thold son Hugo.

In 2011, he opened the Fly­ing Wine­maker in Hong Kong.

“It’s a tast­ing gallery with a re­tail com­po­nent,” he said.

“We in­vite pro­duc­ers or their rep­re­sen­ta­tives to host fun wine tast­ings.

“It’s an op­por­tu­nity for Hong Kong peo­ple to meet and talk to the wine­mak­ers be­cause usu­ally they just talk to a sales per­son.”

Mr McDougall was in Mt Barker ear­lier this month for the Qan­tas Wine Show judg­ing and said “the wines are world-class”.

He said it was im­por­tant for wine­mak­ers to put their wines in an in­ter­na­tional, rather than just na­tional, con­text.

The Qan­tas Wine Show 38th An­nual Awards Din­ner is on Oc­to­ber 30 at the Hy­att.

For tick­ets, visit wineshowwa.com.au.

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