2017 Winemaker of the Year- Finalists

We are pleased to announce the finalists for the 2017 ASVO Winemaker of the year award.

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

Winemaking selection committee

Louisa Rose Chair
Tony Battaglene (Industry body community)
Paul Grbin (Research community)
Sarah Pidgeon (SA)
Gary Baldwin (VIC)
Frank van de Loo (NSW / ACT)
Fiona  Kerslake (WA / TAS / QLD)


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

2017 Winemaker of the year finalists

Julian Allport
Winemaker, Moore’s Hill, Tasmania

Julian recently brought to fruition the design and build Tasmania’s first 100 tonne, 100% off-grid commercial winery. The winery runs entirely on solar power using a 30kW array and 100kWh of battery storage. Water collected from the roof is used in the winery and a closed loop system treats waste water. By independently generating power, Julian has overcome the threat of rising electricity prices and uncertain supply. “Our sustainable approach has been applauded by customers and encouraged other Tasmanian wineries to investigate off grid solar power options.” Julian’s winemaking philosophy is to marry traditional and modern techniques taking a quality approach to every operation.

Julian is an active Tasmanian wine industry participant, serving on the Wine Tasmania Board 2013-2015 and on its technical committee in 2015. He is a great believer in sharing information and insights and offers to share his knowledge with those who seek it.

Jeremy Dineen
Chief Winemaker, Josef Chromy Wines, Tasmania

Jeremy constantly seeks to improve his practices by keeping abreast of industry best practice including heat recovery and load scheduling for refrigeration, juice flotation to reduce lees losses and increase throughput, solar power generation and composting of all green waste. These innovative practices have led to reduced cellar operation, decreased losses and significant gains regarding capacity for wastewater treatment and solar energy generation. Jeremy has instigated and participated in numerous research projects in collaboration with Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, Wine Tasmania, University of Tasmania, the Australian Wine Research Institute and others with an aim to benefit the entire industry. Jeremy has been a key player in staging ‘Effervescence Tasmania’ an event to celebrate world class sparkling wines from Tasmania including sparkling wine master classes.

Jeremy was a participant in the wine industry’s Future Leaders’ program, he is an accomplished wine show judge and graduate of the Len Evan’s Tutorial. He is a director of Wine Tasmania and past Chair of its Technical Committee.

Fiona Donald
Senior Winemaker, Seppeltsfield Wines

Fiona is part of the team that applies modern technology to a wonderful old building with great bones and thoughtful design – the recently resurrected gravity winery. With a vision to get this great asset to work, Fiona and her team have increased the processing capacity of the Seppeltsfield winery from zero to 4000 tonnes in two years. This has been no mean feat; the greatest challenge being asking people to work to modern standards in an old winery and to achieve a lot from a little. In a few short years the value of the winery has increased and the wine is highly sought after. Fiona takes an inclusive approach in the winery, constantly seeking information from colleagues to achieve great results, and she shares her experience willingly with students, school leavers, vintage sea-changers and through industry forums including the Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference and numerous wine shows.

Fiona is a committee member of the Adelaide Wine Show, a member of the tasting panel of the Barossa Grounds project and a Barossa Grape and Wine Association board member

Mike Hayes
Symphony Hill Wine

Mike is steadfast in his belief that the future success of Queensland’s wine industry will be based on the development of alternate varietals, in particular, varieties suited to changing climatic conditions. To this end Mike has promoted the planting of alternate varieties and associated innovative winemaking practices for over a decade both at Symphony Hill Wines and with his many clients. Mike has a mission to expand his own knowledge and to share that with the industry. Mike has initiated alternative variety master classes to educate consumers on food and wine matching with alternative varieties, presented at numerous industry forums and led practical viticulture workshops instructing growers how to graft to new varieties. Mike is also establishing small plot alternative variety vineyards in schools throughout southern Queensland and he is also writing a book on alternative Winegrape varieties.

Mike is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern Queensland where he is on the Advisory Board for Agriculture, Computational Sciences and Environmental Studies. He is also a director of the Queensland Wine Industry Association.

The winners of the ASVO Viticulturist and Winemaker of the year will be announced at an Awards ceremony and dinner on November 14th at Carrick Hill in Adelaide.