Viticulturist Joe Vaughan and his 100 Hunts Road Vineyard is the inaugural winner of the Mornington Peninsula’s Dr Allan Antcliff Vineyard of the Year Award.
The award, announced last Friday by the Mornington Peninsula Vignerons Association, includes a $5,000 travel and research bursary from benefactors Sarah and Baillieu Myer AC.
Joe says the grant will provide him with an opportunity to gain an even deeper understanding about regenerative farming.
“People have been growing grapes for more than 6,000 years, but we’re still learning,” he says.
“There are not many dud vineyards on the Mornington Peninsula, but we all need to get away from the damaging practices of the past and regenerate to look after soils and plants.”
Baillieu Myer says that with this prize, the region honours the pivotal work of Dr Antcliff and recognises the importance of sustainable viticulture and the level of attention and work required in the vineyard to make good wine.
“I’m delighted it’s Joe for the first award,” Baillieu says.
“He’s a leader of the industry and the Mornington Peninsula, and has a great deal of knowledge to impart and to encourage others.
“Joe is one of the region’s quiet achievers.”
Dr Allan Antcliff was a vine physiologist and breeder.
His research and work at the CSIRO proved vitally important to the Australian wine industry.
Dr Antcliff was responsible for introducing numerous varieties from overseas and propagated many cross varieties and hybrids.
By 1983 Dr Antcliff had germinated and planted more than 40,000 seedlings. This work led to the health and vitality of the Australian winegrowing industry today.
The judges of the inaugural award were viticulturists Dr Mary Retallack, Mark Walpole and John Whiting.
Mary says Joe has demonstrated an attention to detail, integrated thinking, a capacity to innovate and a great deal of resourcefulness to deliver a deep commitment to sustainability and excellence.
“There was a clear focus on social, environmental and economic responsibility with a broad range of topics encompassed in each – from farm safety to soil health, economic production and an appreciation of the surrounding environment, native flora and fauna and the interactions between each,” says Mary.
The 100 Hunts Road Vineyard in Tuerong is 27 hectares and supplies some of the Mornington Peninsula’s top wineries such as Quealy Wines, Stonier Wines, Paringa Estate, Portsea Estate and Kerri Greens, with Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Fiano, Friulano, Muscat Blanc á Petits Grains, Traminer and Shiraz.
MPVA CEO Olivia Barrie says this award and the long term commitment of the regional wine community to achieve excellence in farming sustainability is a priority for the organisation.
“A commitment to environmental excellence from the region is really gathering pace,” she says.
“We are having many ongoing conversations about how the values and attitudes of the wine industry ensure the health of our vineyards and our local environment.
“Joe and his work at the 100 Hunts Road Vineyard, along with the generosity and vision of Sarah and Baillieu Myer, and the impressive work of all the nominees and finalists in our first Dr Allan Antcliff Vineyard of the Year Award, present a great deal of promise for how we can continue to improve our skills and reduce our future impact on the natural environment.”
Olivia expressed confidence in the region becoming a leader in sustainable winegrowing.