2016 Regional Director Candidates

The Board of the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology

The ASVO’s Constitution stipulates a two-tiered election process to allow a wider geographical representation from members. Five general positions on the ASVO Board are to be filled every odd year while four state representatives are to be elected in even years. Members who are elected to the Committee serve for a period of 2 years.

ASVO Regional Board election 2016

Following the nomination process, more than one nominations were received for three regions. In accordance with the Constitution an election is required to determine the Director in the following regions.

  • South Australia
  • Victoria
  • Western Australia, Tasmania & Queensland (combined)

The election will be conducted electronically with assistance from TrueVote Pty Ltd. Voting instructions will be sent to all eligible members in the week commencing 19 September 2016. Voting will close at 5 pm, Monday, 3 October 2016. Candidate profiles are available below. If you do not receive voting instructions and believe you are eligible to vote, please contact the ASVO.

South Australian Regional Director candidates;

  • Dr Paul Smith
  • Dr Paul Grbin
  • Keith Bown

Victorian Regional Director candidates;

  • David Wollan (existing Victorian Regional Director)
  • Sam Bowman

Western Australia, Tasmania & Queensland Regional Director candidates;

  • Marty Smith
  • Dr Fiona Kerslake

South Australia

Paul Smith

Present and past employment and experience

Dr Paul Smith is Research Manager – Chemistry at the AWRI. In 20 years of research (14 at the AWRI) he has taken advantage of his chemistry skills in multiple disciplines across several fields.

In his current role Paul leads and manages a team of 10 scientists tackling research on non-volatile components of wine (e.g. proteins, polyphenols and polysaccharides) with a focus on texture, haze prevention and the impact of oxygen on red and white wine in addition to the impacts of oxygen during winemaking and ‘stinky’ sulfur compounds.

Paul is passionate about science (chemistry in particular) and its role in the world we live in. Paul has a proven ability to succeed in academic research and teaching, but also in real-world applied research and the communication of research findings to scientists and audiences with a non-scientific background.

Society interest

My interest is in contributing more actively to the directions that ASVO take in relation to promotion of the benefits of grape and wine production to society more broadly as well as to engaging more directly with the communication of research in practical, accessible ways for Industry personnel that support adoption of practice changes. The potential for using the ASVO as a rallying point for tackling big questions is a significant interest too.

Paul Grbin

Present and past employment and experience

Paul has had a 25-year formal association with the wine industry, in particular in research and teaching. After completing a BSc, he attended Roseworthy Agricultural College before entering the wine industry. He completed a PhD (University of Adelaide) whilst working at the AWRI.

Paul has worked at Charles Sturt University as a Lecturer in Wine Microbiology and is currently an Associate Professor in Oenology at the University of Adelaide, Waite Campus. He is member of the Alumni Council of the University of Adelaide.

Paul is active in both research and teaching, with a particular focus on wine microbiology and sustainable and efficient biological processing of winery wastewater.

Society interest

As the wine industry changes and develops, the importance of professional societies to support this is crucial. Through my experience, particularly at the interface between education, research and industry I can help the ASVO maintain and progress its leading role as the professional network for viticulturist and oenologists in Australia.

Keith Bown

Present and past employment and experience

Keith Bown B.App.Sci.(Oen) Graduate of Roseworthy Agricultural College in 1989. Extensive winemaking, viticulture and executive management experience in Australia and overseas over 27 years. Upon graduating from Roseworthy, I honed my practical and technical skills, with hands on experience from vineyard to bottle, working initially in SA, then spending several years doing vintages across the world, including Australia, USA, UK and New Zealand. In the past 12 years I have held senior executive roles in Australia for Zilzie Wines and more recently as V.P. Viticulture & Winemaking (Chief Winemaker) for Constellation Brands Canada.

At Constellation my role included participation with the executive leadership team on strategic direction, as well as all technical aspects of vineyard management and winemaking, leadership direction at all Commercial and Estate facilities in three provinces as well as vintage planning.

In Canada I also held a Director role with the appellation authority, the Vintners Quality Alliance Ontario (VQAO) from July 2009 to June 2015. I returned to Adelaide in November 2015.

Society interest

I have been a professional member of the ASVO since 1997 and believe the active exchange of technical viticulture/winemaking information is key to the ongoing success of the Australian wine industry. I would bring a range of skills, including viticulture, winemaking, financial, judging, innovation. I was on the organisational committee for the Constellation Brands Technical Conference for five years.


Sam Bowman

Present and past employment and experience

I am currently the director of Bowman Viticulture providing viticultural consultancy to growers and wine companies across SA, VIC and NSW. Starting my career (after commencing a Wine Science/Viticulture degree with CSU) in Bendigo, Victoria with Balgownie Estate I took over the vineyard management/GLO for the company in 2011. After 5 years I took a position as Viticulturist with Bleasdale Wines in Langhorne Creek, SA. During my time there I was chair of the Grapegrowers association and an active member of the Langhorne Creek Vine Improvement. After 3 years with Bleasdale I moved to Mildura and commenced operating independently as Bowman Viticulture. Since April 2016 I have offered technical consultancy, Grower Liaison and reporting for vineyard owners, wine companies and government departments.

Society interest

I would like to be involved in the society as I feel I can offer a fresh set of ideas and provide a passionate voice for Australian Grapegrowers. Being at the forefront of innovation is vital for our industry and I believe the ASVO is a great vessel to drive this.

David Wollan (existing Victorian Regional Director)

Present and past employment and experience

David graduated from the Wine Science course in Wagga Wagga in 1979. From 1979 he spent 4 years as winemaker at Arrowfield Wines in the Hunter Valley before moving to the Yarra Valley to establish Tarrawarra Vineyard. He managed it and was chief winemaker for 12 years. In the early 1990s, he formed the company Wine File to develop a PC based winery management system. In 1994, with colleague Gary Baldwin David established Wine Network, where as a director and consultant, he spent a number of years advising wineries in Australia and elsewhere. During this time he was introduced to reverse osmosis based processes and since then has concentrated on the development and application of membrane separation technologies in the wine industry. Most notably he invented processes for smoke taint removal and alcohol reduction. Since the sale of his company, Memstar to VA Filtration in 2013, David Wollan has been employed as its technical consultant and is currently pursuing a master’s degree by research at the University of Adelaide.

Society interest

Since its foundation, I have been a member of ASVO and its various committees including the past 2 years as the Victorian regional representative. With years of industry technical, business and now research experience in Victoria and more broadly, I believe I can continue to make a useful contribution to the future of the ASVO.

Tas, Qld & WA

Marty Smith

Present and past employment and experience

Since mid 2013 I’ve been running my own viticulture consultancy business, Absolute Viticulture, based in Tasmania. I work with dozens growers and wine businesses around Tasmania, big and small. I am also involved in the design and development of multiple new vineyards and vineyard expansions around the state.

Previous to that I was Viticulturist at Bleasdale Vineyards in Langhorne Creek for 4 years, managing their company vineyards and grower liaison duties in Langhorne Creek, Wrattonbully, Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale and Clare. I started my career as Technical Officer for Clover Hill/Taltarni Vineyards where I worked for 8 years whilst completing my viticulture degree through Charles Sturt University.

Society interest

I’ve been a member of the ASVO for 6 years now and have not missed a Mildura seminar since 2006. The Society provides a terrific platform for industry professionals to seek information, support each other and network. As a viticulturist, the Mildura seminar is an ideal way to connect with the latest research and best practice.

Fiona Kerslake

Present and past employment and experience

Research Fellow at Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture

August 2009 – Present

Research topics include:

  • Sparkling wine viticultural practices
  • Pinot noir viticultural practices
  • Novel winemaking technologies to hasten sparkling wine quality
  • Objective measures of sparkling wine quality and in-line sensing of juice quality
  • Cool climate yield stabilisation
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Provenance of Pinot noir wines

Participant in the 2016 Tasmanian Leaders Program.

‘Tasmanian Leaders Inc. (TLI) is an independent, not-for-profit organisation … that facilitates leadership enhancement opportunities for high potential leaders. Our programs identify, promote and develop business and community leaders, creating significant future benefits for their organisations, themselves and Tasmania.’

  • PhD candidate at the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture


  •  Not-for-profit Board President at Pedder Patter Child Care Centres Inc.

October 2012 – July 2015

  •  ASVO Fresh Science judge 2016 16th AWITC
  •  ASVO Winemaker of the Year 2016 judge
  •  AICD – Governance Foundations for Non-For-Profit Directors 2016

Society interest

As a researcher, Fiona has a keen interest in seeing the integrity of the Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research maintained and is acutely aware of making sure the interests of the smaller regions are adequately represented at a national level, particularly in the seminars and awards that are delivered by the ASVO.