Accolade Wines has announced the retirement of highly regarded wine industry veteran Paul Lapsley as its global wine director.
Mr Lapsley first joined the company with Houghton in 1987 before rising through the ranks to become group red winemaker in 2004 and then 20th chief winemaker for Hardys in 2007.
He assumed responsibility for all winemaking operations across the business as group chief winemaker before being appointed global wine director in 2016.
“An industry veteran with almost 40 years of winemaking experience, Paul commands enormous respect for his vision, ambition and pure skill that has come to be expressed in some of our most prestigious and successful wines and wine brands,” said Anton van Heerden, Accolade Wines director, Supply Chain and Operations.
“Paul can be immensely proud of his role as flagbearer for the historic Hardys brand, as well as his undiminished passion for excellent quality wine that leaves behind a formidable legacy. We wish him a long and well-earned retirement.”
Highlights of Mr Lapsley’s career include:
• Winning 29 gold medals in a single year at the 2009 Hobart Wine Show;
• Kick-starting the Houghton premium red program that culminated in the inaugural release of iconic Jack Mannin 1994; and
• Overseeing the 2014 Hardy 165th Anniversary Cabernet Shiraz, Accolade’s first ever 99-pointed wine.
Mr Lapsley’s final day with Accolade will be 30 November, but Mr van Heerden said Accolade was delighted he had agreed to extend his association with the business after his retirement, allowing Accolade to continue to tap into his vast experience and knowledge.
Mr Lapsley said that while he was sad to be departing the company, he would look back fondly on an incredible career in which he was fortunate enough to work with industry leading viticulture and winemaking teams as well as world class mentors.
“Pushing the boundaries and creating wines of great character and quality have continued to be a passion for me, whether following the great blending tradition of the world famous Hardys brand or introducing the premium Jack Mann range at Houghton, and I am grateful for Accolade’s support for these endeavours,” he said.
“I have made many friends through the company over the years and will miss working with a group of dedicated and driven people who are truly passionate about our portfolio.”