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Corrina Wright and Kerry DeGaris win top honours at 2019 ASVO awards

By Wednesday 13 November 2019No Comments

Oliver’s Taranga winemaker/CEO Corrina Wright has been named Winemaker of the Year by the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) at the 2019 Awards for Excellence in Adelaide.

Dr Kerry DeGaris was named Viticulturist of the Year.

Corrina Wright has dedicated herself to the development of innovative wine styles made from alternative grape varieties on her historic family vineyard.

She led the planting of the first Mencia in Australia, on the back of being an early adopter of alternative varieties, with a particular focus on planting varieties that are heat and drought tolerant, with high natural acidity and with a different flavour profile to traditional varieties.

With a clear commitment to the future of the industry, Corrina has further extended her involvement in the wine industry by being a key instigator and contributor in the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (now Australian Grape and Wine) development of the Diversity and Equality Charter (DEW) for the wine industry.

Her leadership on cultural change for the wine community has also included her advisory board position on the Australian Women in Wine Awards (AWIWA), and her contribution to the creation of the sold-out ‘Hear Me Roar’ Shiraz – the world’s first wine produced by women to raise funds for women in wine with 100 percent of profits from sale go to assist women to flourish and succeed in their chosen profession in the Australian wine industry.

“It is very humbling to be nominated by my peers and to be in such luminary company as my co-nominees and the previous recipients of this prestigious award,” Corrina said.

“Innovation and contribution to the wider wine and regional communities has been a strong theme in the previous generations of my family, and I am very honoured to be continuing this great tradition.”

Dr Kerry DeGaris is the chair of the Technical sub-committee of the Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council and has been instrumental in facilitating and conducting research and extension in the Limestone Coast.

The projects led by Kerry have enabled growers to better understand and manage challenges including Eutypa, iron bacteria in irrigation water, salinity and Cabernet berry shrivel. Her work has also included winemaking trials from local rootstock trials.

Kerry’s passion for locally targeted research has culminated in the development of numerous fact sheets, webinars and workshops which are being utilised nationally and she has presented her work at national conferences.

Kerry has further promoted the dissemination of research by facilitating events which foster interactions between PhD students and local growers.

“It is an honour to be nominated and to have the ability to promote the objectives of the ASVO,” Kerry said.

Dr Mardi Longbottom, chair of the award committee said, “The ASVO is pleased to shine a light on such a high calibre of outstanding wine industry professionals.”

The full list of winners:

ASVO Viticulturist of the Year
Dr Kerry DeGaris, Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council

ASVO Winemaker of the Year
Corrina Wright, Oliver’s Taranga

ASVO Viticulture Paper of the Year
Dr Zenghui Cui University of California, Davis

ASVO Oenology Paper of the Year
Dr Janez Kosel at Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ljubljana

ASVO Dr Peter May Award
Dr Daniel Molitor, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology

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