Winemaker of the Year 2012: Virginia Willcock, Vasse Felix
Young Winemaker of the Year 2012: Jacob Stein, Robert Stein Winery and Vineyard
Len Evans Award 2012: Alister Purbrick, Tahbilk
Winemaker of the Year 2011: Ed Carr, House of Arras
Wine Australia Medal 2011: Nick Glaetzer, Frogmore Creek/Glaetzer Dixon
Len Evans Award 2011: Dr Edgar Riek OAM
Winemaker of the Year 2010: Sue Hodder & Allen Jenkins, Wynns Coonawarra Estate
Wine Australia Medal 2010: Tom Shobbrook, Shobbrook
Len Evans Award 2010: Robert O’Callaghan, Rockford
Winemaker of the Year 2009: Andrew Wigan, Peter Lehmann Wines
Wine Australia Medal winner 2009: Sarah Fagan, De Bortoli, Yarra Valley
Len Evans Award for Leadership winner 2009: Kevin McLintock, McWilliams
Winemaker of the year 2008: Louisa Rose, Yalumba
Kemenys Medal winner 2008: Helen McCarthy
Len Evans Award for Leadership winner 2008: Robert Hill Smith
Winemaker of the year 2007: Steve Webber, De Bortoli
Kemenys Medal winner 2007: Kym Teusner
Len Evans Award for Leadership winner 2007: David Hohnen
Winemaker of the Year Awards 2012
After much deliberation, the judges are proud to announce this year’s winners.
It’s difficult to imagine Margaret River winemaker Virginia Willcock looking at the list of past winners, and following Groucho Marx with the quip, “I don’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member!” It seems much more likely that she would be quite chuffed and quietly reflect, “I could happily get used to being part of that group.” Certainly, the winners of the Gourmet Traveller WINE Winemaker of the Year Award over the past 15 years make up a unique club of high achievers whom this magazine has acknow-ledged as being at the pinnacle of success in their chosen profession.
It has certainly been Western Australia’s year in these awards, with Cape Mentelle’s Rob Mann and Castle Rock’s Rob Diletti making an unprecedented three finalists from that state. Other finalists this year included Kym Schroeter, Penfolds (SA), Steve and Monique Lubiana, Stefano Lubiana (Tas), Bryan Currie, Westend Estate (NSW) and Sandro Mosele (Vic).
It’s hard to believe that Jacob Stein, the winner of the Wine Australia Medal, our award for up-and-coming winemakers, is only 26. But he had vintage experience in Italy, Germany and Canada as well as other parts of Australia before returning to his Mudgee home in 2008. This third-generation vigneron impressed the judges with the quality of his wines.
The Len Evans Award celebrates that inspirational promoter of wine by placing the spotlight on the ways in which individuals can show leadership within the Australian wine industry. Alister Purbrick works in quiet ways maintaining the traditions of his family winery, Tahbilk, without forgetting how vital innovation is to survival. His work in industry politics has also been exemplary.
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