Inaugural recipient of Tasmanian Viticulture Fellowship announced

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Views over rows of vines in a Tasmanian vineyard

Views over rows of vines in a Tasmanian vineyard [©Winepros/VisitVineyards.com]

Vine leaves in a Tasmanian vineyard
Views over vineyards on the East Coast of Tasmania

 

The Tasmanian Premier recently presented the inaugural $10,000 Sustainable Viticulture Award to Tasmanian Winemaker and Viticulturist Paul Smart of Pressing Matters.

2011 marks ten years of philanthropic work in Tasmania for the Alcorso Foundation as well as fifty years of the first Alcorso winemaking vintage at Moorilla.

This milestone was celebrated at the Foundation’s annual dinner and art auction held at MONA on Saturday 8 October 2011 at which time the inaugural $10,000 Don Martin Sustainable Viticulture Award was presented by the Premier, the Honourable Lara Giddings.

Ms Giddings congratulated the finalists and the partners whose support made the Award possible.

‘This Award will add to the high reputation of the Tasmanian wine industry, as we show our commitment to sustainable production methods’, Ms Giddings said.

Three award finalists were judged by a panel of five Tasmanian wine specialists.

Wine Tasmania’s panel representative, David Sanderson, said that the standard of each applicant’s proposal was extremely high “making it a tough choice for the panel”.

The finalists for this new wine award were:

  • Ms Jennifer Doyle, Vineyard Manager, Frogmore Creek Wines
  • Mr John Schuts, Senior Winemaker, Winemaking Tasmania
  • Mr Paul Smart, Winemaker and Viticulturist, Pressing Matters

The Alcorso Foundation partnered with the state’s peak wine sector body, Wine Tasmania, to deliver Tasmania’s inaugural Sustainable Viticulture Fellowship.

The $10,000 Don Martin Sustainable Viticulture Fellowship was initiated to commemorate influential Tasmanian viticulturist, Dr Don Martin. The Fellowship is available to Tasmanian-based practicing professionals working in Tasmania’s wine sector to encourage research across viticulture / oenology. Its intent is to provide an individual with the opportunity to undertake national or international travel for study or practical activities that will benefit the Tasmanian wine sector through innovation, sustainability and best practice.

Alcorso Foundation president, Professor Kate Warner, said the Fellowship was possible through a generous bequest from Dr Martin to the Alcorso Foundation.

“Dr Martin was a great friend of Claudio Alcorso both sharing a passion about improving wine grapes grown in Tasmania,” she said.

“His generous bequest to the Foundation has meant we can develop a Fellowship allowing individuals in the Tasmanian wine sector to explore leading sustainable practices outside Tasmania and share that knowledge for the benefit of the broader Tasmanian wine sector.”

Wine Tasmania CEO, Sheralee Davies, said the Fellowship was an outstanding initiative, building on Tasmania’s growing reputation as one of the world’s leading cool climate wine regions.

“The Tasmanian wine sector has a recognised focus on innovation, environmental sustainability, research and collaboration,” Ms Davies said. “This fellowship provides a unique opportunity for a wine sector professional to undertake world class research and contribute to the state’s viticultural knowledge and practices.”

According to David Sanderson, there was very little to separate the applicants. “However there can only be one winner and the panel elected to grant the inaugural fellowship award to Paul Smart of Pressing Matters,” he said.

Paul Smart will undertake a residency in France where he will attend a three-day workshop on “the Biocontrol of Plant Disease” in Reims, France as well as undertake two intensive stagiares with wine producers in Burgundy and Alsace.

Paul has thirteen years experience in the wine industry and believes strongly in sustainability and integrated pest management for vineyard management.

He said that his time in Europe would bring a range of skills that would enhance current vineyard management in Tasmania. “Some vineyard owners in Europe have been in the business for generations and I am keen to learn from them about their vineyards’ sustainability including biological controls and integrated pest management,” he said.

Wine Tasmania, Plasdene Glass Pak Pty Ltd, and WBM - Australia’s Wine Business Magazine jointly supported the $10,000 Dr Don Martin Sustainable Viticulture Fellowship award in 2011.

 

For more information contact:
Denise Robinson – Alcorso Foundation – 0447 125 541
Sheralee Davies – Wine Tasmania – 0407 004 959

 

Wine Tasmania

 

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October 14th, 2011
 
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