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The Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) has announced the winners of its annual Awards for Excellence which recognise professional excellence in viticulture, winemaking and research.

The ASVO Awards were presented to the winners last night at a ceremony held at the historic Carrick Hill property at the foot of the Adelaide Hills.

“The ASVO Award recipients have made outstanding contributions to the Australian wine industry through the implementation and promotion of innovative practices and processes to enhance Australian grape and wine production,” said ASVO president, Mardi Longbottom.

The ASVO Viticulturist of the Year was awarded to Liz Rily, owner and operator of Vitibit, a viticultural consultancy based in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales.

Riley was recognised for her expertise in the sustainable management of vineyard pests and diseases including her contribution to numerous research, development and extension projects focused on fungicide resistance, practical implementation and recommendations for effective pest and disease control.

The ASVO Winemaker of the Year was awarded to Mike Hayes, viticulturist and winemaker of Symphony Hill Wines in the Granite Belt in Queensland.

Hayes has worked persistently for the past decade to understand and promote alternative varieties and associated innovative winemaking practices and he has actively sought to extend his knowledge nationally.

“The ASVO Award recipients have made outstanding contributions to the Australian wine industry”


Two awards were presented for research papers published in the ASVO’s Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research.

The winning viticulture paper was authored by Mark Sosnowski of the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) and colleagues M. R. Ayres, T. J. Wicks and E. S. Scott.

The paper ‘Developing pruning wound protection strategies for managing Eutypa dieback’ appealed to the judging panel because of the demand for technical information to support remedial action against trunk disease nationally.

Louisa Rose, ASVO Fellow

The best oenology paper was awarded to Simone Vincenzi of the University of Padova, Italy and his colleagues D. Gazzola, M. Marangon, G. Pasini and A. Curioni. The paper, ‘Grape seed extract: the first protein-based fining agent endogenous to grapes’ was selected by the judging panel because of the novel, practical and timely approach taken to find an alternative wine fining agent.

The ASVO also announced a new Fellow of the Society – Louisa Rose, chief winemaker at Yalumba.

“Louisa’s contribution to Australian winemaking, viticulture and industry leadership is exemplary, treading the full pathway from innovation to adoption, willingly sharing her experiences along the way,” said Mardi Longbottom.

ASVO Award recipients are nominated by ASVO-appointed selection committees comprised of individuals who themselves are distinguished in the fields of viticulture and oenology who demonstrate exceptional leadership ability and vision.

ASVO Award finalists demonstrate the following attributes:

  1. A broad positive contribution to the Australian wine industry and/or community; examples may include but are not limited to – leadership in regional, state and national wine industry committees or associations, the driving force behind innovative practices, technologies or standards, or outstanding budget/financial management.
  2. Evidence of improvement from standard viticulture and winemaking practices.
  3. Demonstrable integration of the outcomes of their contribution or innovation into the culture of the nominees’ organisation.
  4. Demonstrable efforts to share the outcomes of their contribution or innovation with the broader wine industry in either a regional, state or national capacity.

The Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO), founded in 1980, is a professional society serving the interests of practising winemakers and viticulturists by encouraging the exchange of technical information.