Bernard Hickin has announced his intention to retire as Chief Winemaker – Australia, Pernod Ricard Winemakers, in June 2016. Bernard joined the business (then G Gramp & Sons) in 1976, the same year Jacob’s Creek officially launched.
Throughout his 40 years in winemaking, Bernard has made many significant contributions to the business and its brands – he was instrumental in the progressive moves to sparkling wine production and varietal labelling, and has worked passionately to produce an enviable global portfolio of wines for Jacob’s Creek. Bernard was appointed Company Chief Winemaker of Australian brands in 2006, and then Jacob’s Creek Global Chief Winemaker in 2010.
Brett McKinnon, Global Operations Director for Pernod Ricard Winemakers commented: “We are extremely grateful for the contribution that Bernard has made towards our success. He will be missed by the team and we wish him all the very best for his retirement.”
Bernard will be succeeded by Ben Bryant, a talented Australian winemaker who joined Pernod Ricard Winemakers (then Orlando Wines) in 2000. Ben has since held a number of pivotal winemaking, operational, marketing and brand development positions, including Chief Winemaker for Wyndham Estate.
Commenting on his appointment, Ben said: “I have inherited not only a world-class brand in Jacob’s Creek, but a world-class team of passionate winemakers who have worked tirelessly to make the brand what it is today – and I look forward to joining them on the next stage of the journey.”
Bernard will remain with Pernod Ricard Winemakers until June 2016 as International Winemaker. During this period Bernard will assist with the transition and focus on various winemaking projects within the Pernod Ricard Winemakers portfolio.