Two of the regions most influential female viticulturists will be in the running for the top honour as the 2019 ASVO Viticulturist of the Year, at the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) Awards of Excellence this evening. The Awards recognise the achievements of some of the most dedicated and professional individuals in the wine industry.
Coonawarra celebrated success at these awards last year with the 2018 ASVO Winemaker of the Year Award going to Pete Bissell winemaker at Balnaves of Coonawarra.
The Viticulturalist of the Year award honours an outstanding viticulturist who demonstrates a broad positive contribution to the Australian wine industry and / or community, improvement from standard practice in their field through adoption of innovative practices, technologies or standards, and contributes positively to the culture of their organisation and the broader wine industry in either a regional, state or national capacity
Dr Kerry DeGaris – Dr DeGaris is the chair of the Technical sub-committee of the Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council Inc. 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. “This was an innovative formula,” said Kerry “students could develop potential research topics and growers could form relationships with up-coming researchers.”
Dr Catherine Kidman – Dr Kidman is a Viticulturist with Treasury Wine Estates and has been involved in numerous collaborative projects with local Limestone Coast organisations and the University of Adelaide and Charles Sturt University. These have included optimising irrigation, bud fruitfulness, primary bud necrosis and yield estimation, heritage and clonal selection, enhancing local biodiversity and grapevine virus mitigation. Cath has shared the outcomes of her work at regional, national and international conferences and other forums. Cath says, “a key success is the ability to collaborate and return results that matter to our region. I would like to think that the practices I am working hard to change in our vineyards contribute to the industry being in a better place than where they were yesterday.” Cath is helping to shape the next generation of viticulturists as an honours and PhD co-supervisor.
Winners of the ASVO Viticulturist and ASVO Winemaker of the year, along with the ASVO Best Viticultural Paper of the Year, Best Oenology Paper of the Year, and the Dr Peter May Award for the most cited AJGWR paper published in the previous five years, will be announced at an Awards ceremony and dinner at the National Wine Centre tonight, Tuesday 22nd November.