AFTER 27 years at the helm of one of Griffith's most successful businesses, Michelle Nugan has stepped down.
Mrs Nugan officially retired on Monday, announcing new CEO Russell Barratt and the appointment of an advisory board, including independent wine industry leaders.
Supported by her children Matthew and Tiffany, she delivered the news to staff at the family's winery.
"I would like to recognise the support of my three children during those early days as CEO," Mrs Nugan said.
"I have been passionate about my time as CEO and during my tenure have seen the company grow to become a vertically integrated business.
"I have also been fortunate and proud to watch my children, Matthew and Tiffany, together with the winemaking team headed by Daren Owers, grow Nugan Estate over the last 12 years to become one of Australia's great family success stories."
Mrs Nugan, who admits to having some mixed emotions, looks forward to being able to "stop and smell the roses".
"It was sad that I was given the opportunity when Ken died, but it has been a happy experience. My proudest moment was turning the business around in those first nine years when the children were there helping me make it a viable business," she said.
"I'll be looking at doing some voluntary work now and doing a few trips without having to rush back. I'll still be involved on the advisory board just to keep my finger on the pulse.
"I'm 70 now. Let's face it, I've really got nothing more to add and there are young people who have. When I took over the business 27 years ago business was easier, it's now become so complicated."
Mrs Nugan described her successor as an exceptional CEO, who has been part of the leadership team that led the value-added growth of SunRice and more recently the turnaround of Accolade Wines in his role as commercial general manager Australia and New Zealand.
"I am confident with Russell at the helm, Nugan Estate will continue to be one of Australia's great family wine brands and I look forward as director of the Nugan Group to watching this exciting new chapter in Nugan Estate's story unfold".