Our history

Here at Mount Pleasant we have a long, rich history that we’d love to share with you. Discover the heritage behind our award winning wines

1880

English immigrant Charles King plants the Old Hill Vineyard on rich, volcanic soil in the Parish of Pokolbin, at the southern end of the Hunter Valley

1897

Mount Pleasant founder and legendary winemaker Maurice O’Shea is born

1914

Maurice O’Shea studies viticulture and oenology, before lecturing at France’s Montpellier University

1921

Aged 24, Maurice O’Shea persuades his widowed mother Leontine to purchase the King family’s 16.3ha Hunter Valley property and two adjoining parcels of land, on which the Old Paddock Vineyard is planted. O’Shea names the property Mount Pleasant

1932

The McWilliam family, already famous for their fortified wines, purchase a half share of Mount Pleasant Estate and encourage Maurice O’Shea to continue with his winemaking

1941

The McWilliam family acquire the remaining share of Mount Pleasant Estate. Maurice O’Shea, who was retained as Chief Winemaker and Manager, went on to make some of Australia’s greatest wines

1946

Maurice O'Shea plants the Lovedale and Rosehill vineyards

1956

Maurice O’Shea dies at age 59. Brian Walsh is appointed Mount Pleasant Chief Winemaker and Manager

1967

The first wine in the style of the now famous Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon is made

1978

Phil Ryan is appointed Mount Pleasant Chief Winemaker

1990

McWilliam’s inaugurates the prestigious Maurice O’Shea Award as a tribute to O’Shea’s remarkable innovation and foresight

2004

The 2000 vintage of Mount Pleasant Maurice O’Shea Shiraz outscores Penfolds Grange and Henschke Hill of Grace to be the highest rated Shiraz in the 2005 edition of James Halliday’s Australian Wine Companion

2005

Wine Hunter by Campbell Mattinson, a book which chronicles the life of Maurice O’Shea and would go on to receive much acclaim, is released

2009

Phil Ryan, named a Living Legend of the Hunter Valley.

2013

Jim Chatto is appointed Chief Winemaker. Jim becomes only the fourth Chief Winemaker to be based at Mount Pleasant

2017

Mount Pleasant was honoured to be named Winery of the Year in the 2017 Halliday Wine Companion.

That same year, Halliday scored the 2014 Maurice O'Shea 99 Points.

2018

Adrian Sparks is appointed as only the 5th Mount Pleasant Chief Winemaker since Maurice O'Shea.

2019

Adrian Sparks named 2019 Hunter Valley Winemaker of the Year at the Hunter Valley Wine Industry Gala.