Bernard Hickin

Bernard Hickin

Bernard Hickin is to retire as chief winemaker for Jacob’s Creek, in June 2016.

Hickin joined the business (then G Gramp & Sons) in 1976, the same year the brand was officially launched.

He will be succeeded by Ben Bryant, an Australian winemaker who joined Pernod Ricard Winemakers (then Orlando Wines) in 2000.

Bryant has held a range of positions across the business including chief winemaker at the Wyndham Estate. In 2012 he also took on the responsibilities of global marketing manager and by 2013 was international brand development director – Asia. After 18 months he returned to the Barossa Valley, where he took up the role of winemaking and supply manager.

“The industry of wine is one in which you never stand still, and you never stop learning. I haven’t stood still for fifteen years, and I am eager to see what the next fifteen have in store,” said Bryant.

“I have inherited not only a world-class brand in Jacob’s Creek, but a world-class team of individuals who together have worked tirelessly to make the brand what it is today. I look forward to being part of the team on the next stage of the journey.”

Hickin, who has spent 40 years in the winemaking industry, was instrumental in the moves to sparkling wine production and varietal labelling.

He will remain with Pernod Ricard Winemakers until June 2016 as international winemaker. During this period he will assist with the transition and focus on various winemaking projects within the Pernod Ricard Winemakers portfolio.

“We are extremely grateful for the contribution that Bernard has made towards our success,” said Brett McKinnon, global operations director for Pernod Ricard Winemakers.

“He will be missed by the team and we wish him all the very best for his retirement.”