During a near-death experience, life is said to flash before your eyes.
Winemaker Philip Shaw has experienced that firsthand.
He and the Grim Reaper are no strangers.
In his early years, near misses came in the form of car accidents. Later in life, a terrifying flight reminded him of the fragility of life.
Philip was working for Rosemount at the time, and was in the company’s private plane heading to collect his son in Armidale, New South Wales, when it encountered a terrible storm.
“It was raining and hailing,” he says.
“I had never been in weather like that, even in a large plane.
“Things got extremely desperate and we were going down. One of the pilots said, ‘Can you see anywhere to land?’ I thought ‘F***!’ because a police plane had gone down in that area and they never found it.”
Suffice to say they made it.
Philip, however, refused to get back on board, opting to hire a car and drive back to Denman (where his children went to school) instead.
“It was a terrible experience. You think about your mortality, your kids… everything.”
As precious memories and life achievements go, Philip has many to draw upon. Among them, two International Wine and Spirit Competition International Winemaker of the Year awards
(in 1986 and 2000), the 1999 Qantas Gourmet Traveller WINE Magazine’s Australian Winemaker of the Year Award, and the 2000 Graham Gregory Trophy for his outstanding contribution to the Australian wine industry.
He has consulted all over the globe, including in China (East Coast), at California’s J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines and Chile’s Santa Rita.
• See Katie Spain’s full interview with Philip Shaw in WBM – Australia’s Wine Business Magazine.