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ASVO Awards For Excellence

By Friday 18 November 2022August 26th, 2023No Comments

Yarra Yering winemaker Sarah Crowe was named Winemaker of the Year at the ASVO Awards for Excellence.

Nick Dry from Foundation Viticulture was named Viticulturist of the Year.

The Wine Science & Technology Award went to Darren Fahey from DPI NSW.

“It is a great honour to be named ASVO Winemaker of the Year for 2022,” Sarah Crowe said.

“Previous award winners and finalists include many of my mentors, Australia’s finest winemakers and good friends.

“These are all talented people who selflessly share their knowledge for the greater good of our industry and their local communities.

“I hope to be known as someone who also contributes to enhancing the fabric of our industry alongside them.

“We are a small vineyard and work within in a small but dedicated team at Yarra Yering and therefore this recognition from the broader wine community is heart-warming and industry participation will remain a priority of mine.”

Sarah began her wine career with vineyard work in the Hunter Valley and within three years had become Brokenwood’s assistant winemaker.

Building on her experience Sarah completed international harvests in both Oregon and the Rhone Valley.

After 12 years in the Hunter Valley Sarah made the move to the Yarra Valley joining the team at Yarra Yering in 2013 to focus on one single iconic vineyard site.

The vineyard is central to wine quality and Sarah considers the Yarra Yering vineyard to be the best she has ever worked with.

Now in the role of winemaker and general manager, Sarah hopes to continue to build on the reputation started in 1969 with the first vineyard plantings at Yarra Yering.

The committee noted that Sarah showed an extremely high level of industry commitment and leadership.

“Sarah’s work across multiple regions making great wine, as well as leadership and industry responsibility through the Len Evans Tutorial board and various wine shows is amazing,” the committee said.

“Sarah’s application contained a clear narrative around the development of Yarra Yering and implementation of vineyard management and winery operations to improve wine quality, profitability and sustainability.”

Photo: John Krüger

Nick Dry is a well-known name in Australian viticulture having spent over 20 years working with grapevine rootstocks.

He has an extensive knowledge of variety, clone and rootstock performance, along with an intimate understanding of grapevine trunk disease, grapevine virus, germplasm management and nursery practices.

After 10 years with Yalumba Nick established his own consultancy business, Foundation Viticulture.

Nick has been involved with a diverse range of projects including developing planting and redevelopment strategies, working on propagation supply chain strategy and technical communication projects.

Nick is currently engaged by Wine Australia as the National Grapevine Collection coordinator.

“It’s a proud and humbling moment to be nominated and ultimately win this award,” Nick said.

“Bringing the National Grapevine Collection to fruition is a culmination of learning through many phases of my career.

“I’m excited to be able to promote the message and objectives of what should be an integral part of Australian plant health integrity in years to come and provide security for our industry.

“It’s an honour to be nominated alongside two outstanding viticulturists in Chris Rogers and Richard Leask.

“Their valued, wide-ranging contributions to the industry and the respect they enjoy within our tight-knit community makes this award feel even more significant.

“I would also like to thank all the viticulturists I have learned from and worked alongside since the beginning of my career.

“The success of the Australian wine industry is by no small part due to the collegiate atmosphere of those who work within it and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Photo: John Krüger

The Wine Science & Technology Award was introduced this year and recognises the work of inspiring individuals working in wine science, wine laboratories, technology, engineering and education/extension.

“The ASVO Board members were keen to recognise the many ASVO members who work in roles that are less visible, but still bring a range of skills, qualifications, talents and experience to the wine community,” ASVO President Brooke Howell said.

Darren Fahey has led numerous applied demonstration and scientific trials to drive practice change and realise adoption across the wine industry in his role as development officer for the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

Darren’s contribution to the wine industry is extensive with a multitude of projects, events, workshops, presentations and publications over the last five years that have educated, raised awareness and encouraged adoption.

The committee remarked that Darren demonstrated his contribution through on-the-ground action, implementing best practice and the uptake of work by contractors and wineries.

The high level of education work in the industry and clear engagement with the ASVO values that Darren demonstrates at a personal level through volunteering & activities he has undertaken is to be commended.

“I’m thrilled to receive the inaugural ASVO Wine Science and Technology Award,” Darren said.

“However, in my mind the real winners are the growers and winemakers who have listened and learned along the way.

“Based off the many trials, workshops and masterclasses that the team and I have delivered over the years while working at NSW DPI, growers and winemakers have implemented and changed practices to benefit their businesses, their environment and the wine industry.”

Brooke Howell, President of the ASVO said, “There was a very high standard of nominees for the Viticulturist and Winemaker of the Year awards who have all demonstrated excellence in their field. It was very pleasing to see Nick and Sarah recognised as worthy winners this year, for their significant contribution and ability to inspire others around them. Darren’s recognition for years of work in the wine science and technology space for the betterment of the industry is also very well deserved, and we are thrilled to be able to honour more members through the new award.”

The ASVO Viticulture Paper of the Year was won by Matthew Ayres from SARDI. The Oenology Paper of the Year was won by     Dr Marcos Bonada from SARDI and the ASVO Dr Peter May Award went to Dr Sarel Munitz from Carmel Wines in Israel.

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