We all know Eddie as the face behind The Flying Winemaker as well as being an award-winning winemaker, wine critic, columnist and TV personality behind his very own TV Series, but not many of us know the real story of WHO Eddie is, WHAT wines he produces and WHY he became a winemaker and chose the specific varieties he uses in his award-winning wines.
Let’s take a look into the Who, What and Why of Eddie McDougall and his Wines.
This is where the story of Eddie McDougall and his wines began
Eddie McDougall is a Hong Kong born, Chinese-Australian who has been making wine around the world for the last 19 years. Eddie holds a Bachelor of International Business from Griffith University, Australia and a Post Graduate Diploma of Wine Technology and Viticulture from the University of Melbourne. In 2013, Eddie was one of only 12 elite wine professionals selected for the Len Evans Tutorial, regarded as the world’s most esteemed wine judging scholarship.
His passion and enthusiasm in creating world class wines stem far and wide. With 19 harvests under his belt, Eddie has worked on a number of collaboration projects with famous producers and wineries ranging from France, Italy, Australia, and China to now working on some really cool projects in Taiwan. Eddie was also at the forefront of making Hong Kong’s very first wine.
More importantly, Eddie has also successfully produced his own private label called Eddie McDougall Wines which is celebrating its 10th year in 2018. As a person, he loves exploring different wine regions either by himself or with his fellow wine explorers and challenging himself to focus on unique varietals and winemaking techniques.
Regardless of where Eddie has made wines, there is one thing that always remains true and that is, each range is a passion project and he makes wines for the people and to be enjoyed by everyone.
Eddie looking over proudly at his bottled babies
Eddie’s core range of wines are made in the King Valley. The King Valley is located in the state of Victoria, Australia and is around 3hrs North-East of Melbourne. Although a very small region in scale compared to the rest of Australia, the King Valley has the largest concentration of Italian grape varieties outside of Italy than of any other wine region in the world. Notably, the King Valley is also one of the highest altitude grape growing regions in Australia, enabling for the production of high-quality cool-climate wines.
These wines produced in the King Valley are part of Eddie's original series of wines. The focus of this range was to create a unique portfolio of wines from the growing North Eastern wine region of Victoria, Australia. With a clear vision to not make just another bloody Aussie Shiraz, Eddie set his winemaking talents to work on producing classic Italian varietals in the region.
In Eddies own words:
“The reason I am so fond of Italian wines is because of its consistent combination of a savoury-earthy flavour that’s generously lifted by a mouth-watering twang of acidity and minerality. This was just so different from what I was used to, as we were always taught about the ripeness of the fruit flavour before considering the subtle extraction of the real complexities of the varietal.”
To recognise the region where he produces most his wines, Eddie decided the most suitable logo for his wines made in the King Valley would be a gold foil crown. Eddie is not claiming that he is the king but he wants the world to know something about the prestige of the region where his wines hail from. Proud of King Valley and excited by its Italian heritage, Eddie continues to source grapes from top growers in the region in order to produce wines that are genuinely approachable and definitive of the region’s varietals.
The Range includes 4 wines:
- Eddie McDougall Prosecco
- Eddie McDougall Pinot Grigio
- Eddie McDougall Rosato (made with 3 red Italian varietals, Barbera, Nebbiolo & Sangiovese)
- Eddie McDougall Sangiovese
The full collection of Eddie's King Valley Wines
Eddie’s journey into wine was not planned, nor was it a dream hobby that became a reality. He was a lost teenager who graduated from high school at the age of 16 and blindly went on to study for a business degree with no clear goals in sight.
As a student, he funded his lifestyle with part-time jobs in hospitality. But one eventful evening, about three weeks away from his graduation was where the sparks came alive. Eddie was on shift at a very well regarded restaurant, which on that night became his worst nightmare. Customers were complaining about the food, the chef was barking abuse, bills went out with incorrect items, and worst of all his tip collection was atrociously deficient. That night confirmed his reservations about joining the restaurant game as a possible career option, which resulted in his decision to inform the manager that that was going to be his last shift.
Waiting patiently for the manager to close out the shift, Eddie sat at the bar with a colleague sharing the tales of the nightmare shift he had just had and that this would be his last shift. For Eddie, a stiff drink is normally in order after each shift, but that night his manager insisted that they polished off a bottle of white wine a disgruntled customer had left behind. Not knowing what the wine was, nor did Eddie really care or have any appreciation for it, he just took the managers directives and accepted the glass.
Without a swirl or sniff, Eddie naively just put the wine glass to his lips with the intention of a taking a large enough sip to wash away the night. As the wine hit his lips, coated his tongue and trickled down his throat an awakening expression was brought upon his face that illustrated disbelief and amazement all at the same time.
At that very moment Eddie turned to face to his colleague and said, “Holy sh$t, I need to learn how to make this”. That night everything in Eddie’s life became crystal clear as he now knew where his destiny lay. Not just to become a winemaker but to be a servant to wine with its ability to create inspiration in life.
Although it was not the 2015 vintage, it was this Pinot Blanc by Paul Blanck from Alsace that changed Eddie's life forever - Photo Credit: christine-havens.com
So there it is, some serious insight into the Who, What & Why of Eddie McDougall and his wines. I'm sure most of us reading this found the stories behind how Eddie has become the man he is today, very insightful and inspiring.
Eddie is a remarkable man who has accomplished so much in such a short period of time, not only is he passionate, hard-working and goal driven, he remains a humble, outgoing and charismatic guy who is very serious about not being too serious about wine.
If you'd like to taste the full range of 8 wines that Eddie produces from around the world, then join us this Saturday, October 13th for the Eddie McDougall Wines - Cellar Door Pop-Up from 2 PM - 5 PM for only $100