A member of the McWilliam family's fifth-generation has been working on a plan to save one of the region's most storied winemakers.
The plan proposed by David McWilliam aims to provide credits a "strong return" and ongoing trade relationship, retain the winery's staff and see the winemaker recapitalised.
A key aspect of the plan is providing continuity of business for suppliers.
"Our desire is to see the McWilliam's business live to fight another day, with a family member leading the charge, rather than being broken up," Mr McWilliam said.
"There is a lot of goodwill among the McWilliam's Wines suppliers, staff, customers and consumers, and we are working closely with HLB Mann Judd Sydney, to structure a deal for the administrators that respects these stakeholders and creates an ongoing relationship into the future, instead of heading down the liquidation path.
"In addition, some of the major shareholders are also important suppliers for the business and under this proposal they will be able to remain so.
"From here, I see value not only in the individual assets but in the business as a whole and maintaining the brand and continuing its rich tradition. I think the business still has considerable wine production and iconic brands but most importantly there is considerable value in the people who remain committed to the business and producing quality wine."
After being placed in voluntary administration last year, a private equity group provided a plan to buy the business.
It's believed creditors could have received close to 94 cents on the dollar as part of the $46 million deal with Prcstnt Asset Management.
However the deal fell through late last year and McWilliam's Wines was put back up for sale.
Simon James from HLB Mann Judd said McWilliam's had strong potential for growth with the right leadership, and suggested the deal with Prcstnt may have fallen through due to trade tensions with China.
"The recent trade issues with China, which saw tariffs placed on Australian wine, will put pressure on those wine producers who have been relying on exports to this market," Mr James said.
"If the proposal from Prcstnt was backed by Chinese investors, and their strategy was centred around China exports, then there is logic to them walking away given the current tariffs. Indeed, any buyers from China are unlikely to have much chance of approval given the current political dynamic."
Mr James said had put together a team to help return McWilliam's to its former glory.
"I have plans to restructure the business through a number of cost-targeted initiatives initially, but then to rebuild for growth and provide the scale that the business was built for," he said.
"The near term focus will be on shifting to a customer-led organisation, and partnering with our customers to restore and expand distribution domestically. Over the medium term we will drive export growth with strategic partnerships across the traditional international markets including the UK, US, and Canada where McWilliam's is well known.
"Once the business is turned around and volumes start to increase, we will take advantage of the current low utilisation of the McWilliam's assets and consider targeted consolidation opportunities."
Bids for the McWilliam's Wines Group are due around the end of the month, with selling agents Colliers International handling the process.