Finalists announced for 2017 Viticulturist of the Year Posted by: Alana House August 11, 2017 The Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) has announced the finalists for the 2017 ASVO Viticulturist of the year award. The ASVO strives to promote the advancement of professional knowledge, professional skills and professional attitudes, in the fields of viticulture and oenology, in members of the Society. In 2012, the ASVO Awards for Excellence was established as a prestigious event to promote industry excellence, foster leadership, and encourage innovation and sustainability in the Australian wine industry. ASVO President Dr Mardi Longbottom said: “The awards recognise the achievements of some of the most dedicated and professional individuals in the Australian wine industry.” “As an industry, we are fortunate to have many very skilled and professional people who are contributing significantly to the industry, inspiring those around them to seek out and adopt innovative practices. The quality of this year’s finalists is absolutely outstanding, and I congratulate each of them on their achievements,” Dr Mardi Longbottom said. The winners of the ASVO Viticulturist and Winemaker of the year will be announced at an awards ceremony and dinner on November 14 at Carrick Hill in Adelaide. The finalists are: Nick Dry – Nick is the Nursery Manager and Viticulturist at Yalumba Nursery, Barossa, South Australia. Nick joined the Yalumba Nursery team in 2008 and during this time has honed his skills to ensure that customers have access to the best quality scion and rootstock material for their vineyards as well as the best quality information from which to make decisions. Nick strives to continuously improve practices across both the production and customer service aspects of the business with the knowledge that high quality planting material and high quality information on the performance of clones and rootstocks has a direct benefit to the competitiveness of the Australian Wine industry. Nick is a member of the Vine Industry Nursery Association. Lee Haselgrove – Lee is the Viticulturist at Swinney Vineyards, Great Southern, Western Australia. Lee is well-connected throughout the Western Australian wine industry and is sought out for his thought leadership in viticulture and innovation. He is respected by the wine writer community and this unique relationship has enabled him to raise the awareness of viticultural practices in relation to wine style and quality. Lee provides innovative engineering solutions amongst his clientele and demonstrates a deep understanding and commitment to viticultural innovation. Lee is the current Chair of Wines of Western Australia Technical Committee, after 2 years as a general member and is a member of the Great Southern Wine Industry Association. Liz Riley – Liz is the owner and operator of Vitibit Pty Ltd, a viticulture consulting business based in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales. Liz has 25 years’ experience working in the Australian wine industry on a local, interstate, and international basis. Liz has significant expertise in both practical and technical viticulture and is passionate about implementing research and development outcomes. She thrives on seeing the practical adoption of science in the vineyard. She believes that this is vital to ensure that the Australian Wine Industry maintains its competitive edge. Liz is an active member of the wine industry and its community. In addition to the numerous industry reference groups she serves on, she is an Associate Member and Viticulture Sub-committee member of the Hunter Valley Wine Tourism Association, Vice President of the NSW Wine Industry Association and Chair of the R&D committee of that organisation. Liz has served as a special qualifications Director on the board of the Australian Wine Research Institute for the past six years.