Great Southern wine pioneer Tony Smith has passed away at the age of 84 – just weeks after being made a Life Member of Wines of Western Australia.
Tony established the highly regarded Plantagenet Wines in 1975 and was instrumental in the development of the Great Southern wine brand.
“Tony was a true industry pioneer,” says Marie O’Dea, coordinator of the Portavin Wine Show of Western Australia.
“He worked tirelessly throughout his life to further the interests of the Great Southern region.
“Tony was respected by the community and the industry as a man of vision, determination and great integrity.”
He was active in creating the Wine Industry Association of WA through amalgamation of the WA Grape Growers & Winemakers Association and WA Wine & Brandy Producers Association, creating a unified voice for WA wine producers and grapegrowers.
The life membership was presented to Tony by Minister for Food and Agriculture Alannah MacTiernan.
Minister MacTiernan noted Tony’s “long and significant contribution” to the WA wine industry and the Great Southern in particular.
As Tony left the marquee to enjoy lunch there was a standing ovation.
The award is presented to individuals who have contributed significantly to the development of the WA wine industry and regions.
Previous recipients include Denis and Tricia Horgan, Dorham Mann and Robert Bowen.
Tony died on 4 November after a short illness and was buried in Mt Barker on Friday.
Plantagenet is now owned by Tom and Jo Wisdom. The Tony Smith Shiraz ($150) is one of the flagships of the range.