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Coonawarra Honours Local Hero

By Wednesday 22 February 2023September 29th, 2023No Comments

Highly decorated winemaker Greg Clayfield is the newest Patron of the Coonawarra Vignerons Association.

His was inducted at the Coonawarra Vignerons Cup Day in front of 600 people.

Greg was acknowledged for his “years of service and outstanding contributions” to the organisation along with his promotion of Cabernet and the Coonawarra Wine Region.

“Greg is truly worthy of this accolade,” outgoing Coonawarra Vignerons president Peter Balnaves said.

“He epitomises a can-do attitude with little fuss and fanfare, demonstrating plenty of professionalism and an enthusiasm for the Coonawarra Wine Region.”

Greg’s involvement in Coonawarra started at Lindeman’s in 1970.

He has held many positions within the Coonawarra Vignerons including as chairman.

He said he was humbled to be inducted into such esteemed company, acknowledging the past patrons including Eric Brand, Ken Ward, Colin Ross-Smith and Colin Kidd (all deceased), and current patrons Doug Balnaves, Doug Bowen, Wendy Hollick, Bruce Redman and Michelle Stehbens.

Greg won the Jimmy Watson Trophy in 1981 with Lindeman’s St George Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1980 – and again in 1986 with Lindeman’s Pyrus Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Franc Malbec 1985.

In the mid 2000s Greg joined Zema Estate as chief winemaker. Long-time colleague Nick Zema said, “Greg was the best Coonawarra winemaker of our time as the accolades and recognition he received certainly prove.

“Greg was well known internationally and his ability to market Coonawarra and its wines was well recognised.

“Greg grew up in Coonawarra and we saw this as a great opportunity to not only allow Greg to get back to what he did so well, but also gave Zema Estate the opportunity to have a winemaker with the experience and knowledge of Coonawarra and its wines like no other.

“Greg’s wines were awarded the highest accolades nationally and internationally and as a skilful speaker he was a great ambassador for the Coonawarra region.

“Greg was also extremely active in marketing and promoting Coonawarra through a long association with the Coonawarra Vignerons Association as well as a great contributor to the community having been involved in the racing club, pony club and school boards.”

Photograph: Bruce Redman, Greg Clayfield, Wendy Hollick, Doug Balnaves and Doug Bowen.

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