Liz Riley, owner and operator of Vitibit, a viticultural consultancy based in the Hunter Valley, is the 2017 ASVO (Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology) Viticulturist of the Year.
ASVO Winemaker of the Year is Mike Hayes.
The awards were presented at a ceremony at Carrick Hill in Adelaide tonight.
Liz was recognised for her expertise in the sustainable management of vineyard pests and diseases including her contribution to numerous research, development and extension projects focused on fungicide resistance, practical implementation and recommendations for effective pest and disease control.
Mike is the viticulturist and winemaker of Symphony Hill Wines in the Granite Belt. He has worked persistently for the past decade to understand and promote alternative varieties and associated innovative winemaking practices and he has actively sought to extend his knowledge nationally.
Two awards were presented for research papers published in the ASVO’s Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research. The winning viticulture paper was authored by Mark Sosnowski of the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) and colleagues M.R. Ayres, T.J. Wicks and E.S. Scott.
The paper ‘Developing pruning wound protection strategies for managing Eutypa dieback’ appealed to the judging panel because of the demand for technical information to support remedial action against trunk disease nationally.
The best oenology paper was awarded to Simone Vincenzi of the University of Padova, Italy, and his colleagues D. Gazzola, M. Marangon, G. Pasini and A. Curioni. The paper, ‘Grape seed extract: the first protein-based fining agent endogenous to grapes’ was selected by the judging panel because of the novel, practical and timely approach taken to find an alternative wine fining agent.
The ASVO recognises professional excellence in viticulture, winemaking and research through its annual Awards for Excellence.
ASVO president Dr Mardi Longbottom said, “The ASVO Award recipients have made outstanding contributions to the Australian wine industry through the implementation and promotion of innovative practices and processes to enhance Australian grape and wine production.”
Meanwhile the ASVO has announced a new Fellow of the Society – Louisa Rose, chief winemaker at Yalumba.
Louisa has been honoured for her particularly outstanding and meritorious contribution to the grape and wine industry and for her service to the ASVO.
“Louisa’s contribution to Australian winemaking, viticulture and industry leadership is exemplary, treading the full pathway from innovation to adoption, willingly sharing her experiences along the way,” Mardi Longbottom said.