Marlborough born and raised, Liam learned his trade from the region's finest winemakers
- If you've never heard of Liam McElhinney, he's the genius behind some of the world's most iconic Sauvignon Blancs - like Saint Clair and The Ned.
- In 2009 he was named a top 10 young winemaker in all Australasia. Since then he's won #1 Sauvignon Blanc in New Zealand, the Decanter Sauvignon Blanc Trophy, and IWSC NZ Wine Producer of the Year.
- Liam selects the very best grapes at the optimum time to make his Angel-exclusive wines that massively over-deliver on bang for buck.
Liam McElhinney's Story
Liam McElhinney's Story
"Born and raised in Marlborough, I’ve been in and around the wine industry my whole life. After high school I spent 3 years in the wholesale wine trade, after which I decided to further pursue my studies in the field of winemaking. This led me to Hawkes Bay where I spent 5 years crafting wines with Bilancia and Trinity Hill. Two of New Zealands’s iconic Syrah producers. During this time I was fortunate enough to travel and make wine in Burgundy, Alsace, Rhone Valley, California and Canada, which allowed me to gain a global perspective on wine styles.
In 2008 I returned home to Marlborough to take up the position as White Winemaker for Sauvignon Blanc powerhouse Saint Clair. Returning home to Marlborough was the catalyst for some amazing opportunities, one of which was to join Brent Marris in his new venture “The Ned”. At the age of 27 I was tasked with designing and building a state of the art $40M winery and building a team from scratch. In 2010, after our first harvest in the new winery, The Ned 2010 Sauvignon Blanc was named #1 Sauvignon Blanc in NZ. The next 4 years were spent building The Ned into hugely successful global wine brand. At the end of 2012 I decided to change gears and slow down a bit to focus on other opportunities within the world of wine…..and here I am!!
When I went to university I thought that I would end up in marketing. However after my first harvest experience in the winery, I was hooked. I loved every aspect of it, and threw myself into any and every opportunity that got me into the winery and around the winemakers. I asked so many questions and my thirst for knowledge was insatiable. I was very lucky to have great winemaking mentors who were very generous with their time
The wine industry has given me so much. I now have colleagues and wine industry friends all over the world and I’m fortunate enough that I can travel regularly and visit them to share ideas and keep learning. It’s that on-going learning aspect of winemaking that is so satisfying. And no vintage is ever the same.
I would like to think that my wines give the consumer a small window into my life here in New Zealand. It’s such a pure, pristine environment filled with sunshine, blue sky and everything is so expressive. Hopefully that translates into my wines and people can get a chance to experience that essence of New Zealand in a bottle of my wine.
I would like customers to feel that I have consistently over delivered on quality for the price they have paid as I think this really adds to the enjoyment of wine. I also hope that customers feel a connection to New Zealand when they drink my wines.
In 2009 I was selected as one of the top 10 young winemakers in Australasia. This was an extremely humbling experience.
The future is really quite exciting as the world of wine is always evolving, and throwing us new opportunities and challenges. I’m also really lucky to be working with some of the best vineyards in Marlborough, which consistently amaze and excite me."