An incredibly mild summer with above average rainfall is largely responsible for prolonging the harvest which ensured slow, even ripening of the fruit. To achieve optimum ripeness the fruit was harvested in the cool of the night preserving delicate fruit flavours. After picking, the fruit was crushed and fermented in static tanks with automatic irrigators. Selected parcels received American oak treatment during fermentation to add complexity and structure.
The Nugan story is inspirational. A third generation family business, Nugan Group is now a highly diversified bourgeoning business. Yet its beginnings were humble.
The Nugan Group was founded in 1940 when a young Alfredo Nugan emigrated from Spain with his family to start a small fruit and vegetable packing operation in Griffith, New South Wales. In 1965 his son, Ken, took over the business and it underwent substantial growth.
However, the 1980s saw market changes and Kenís unexpected death from cancer. At this time Kenís wife, Michelle, was forced to drive the then faltering family business forward and that she did.
Michelle was responsible for the Groupís renaissance into one of Australiaís most successful agricultural enterprises with turnover in excess of $80 million. This included looking beyond Australiaís shores to become the largest exporter of niche juice products to Asia in the Southern Hemisphere with production in excess of 70,000 tonne per annum.
However, the last decade has seen the familyís passion for European lifestyle result in their successful diversification into premium wine production and the emergence of the third generation.
Matthew and Tiffany Nugan, Michelleís children, have spearheaded the diversification into the wine industry launching the familyís brands around the world. Matthew built the brands in the export market, whilst Tiffany built the Australian market - resulting in an extremely successful global story.
The Nugan familyís achievements have been widely recognized. Michelle was named a NSW Telstra Business Women of the Year in 1996 and Australian Export Hero in 2000. Following in her motherís footsteps, Tiffany was a 2004 Finalist for the NSW Telstra Young Business Women of the Year. Meanwhile, Matthew, built Nugan Estate into one of Australiaís Top 20 Wine Exporters. Also during this period, Nugan Estate Chief Wine Maker, Daren Owers, was the 2004 Wine Societyís Young Wine Maker of Year - Memberís Choice.
The Nugans are passionate about the Riverina, fully sponsoring two annual programs to develop business skills in the region - WIRED, Women Innovating Rural Enterprise Development, and the Riverina Young Achiever Program.