2018 Viticultural Paper of the year advisory committee


Nick Dry
Nick is the Nursery Manager and Viticulturist at Yalumba Nursery, Barossa, SA. 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 Dry graduated with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Viticulture) from the University of Adelaide in December 2000.  He was employed by the Orlando Wyndham Group as a viticulturist and spent time based in Padthaway and the Riverland.  In 2004 Nick was appointed to the newly created position of Rootstock Project Manager with the Phylloxera and Grape Industry Board of South Australia.  During his time with the board Nick authored the publication ‘Grapevine Rootstocks: selection and management for South Australian vineyards’.    Since joining Yalumba Nursery in 2008 he has developed an extensive knowledge of grapevine propagation, grapevine clone and rootstock performance and has presented widely on these subjects.   Nick has completed vintages in Germany and England and has travelled extensively throughout the wine regions of California, Spain, Italy, Germany and France
Catherine Kidman

Dr Cath Kidman has been a part of the Viticultural team at Wynns Coonawarra Estate since 2011.Her primary role is to implement the research and development directions for the company vineyards.
As a custodian of heritage vineyards in Coonawarra, understanding the complexities of the vineyard environment is a key focus of her research, with a particular attention around flowering and fruitset, yield, rootstocks, and water stress with respect to better understanding wine quality and vine longevity.
Cath is motivated by the challenges that the season, soil types, and varieties present and is humbled to be a part of a renowned and exciting viticultural and winemaking team that strives to maximize the quality potential of the vineyard and grow premium fruit that contribute to some of the world’s most exceptional wines.

Inca Pearce

Inca currently leads Vinehealth Australia. Inca has extensive experience in the wine industry having working for over 17 years for global wine and spirits company Pernod Ricard Winemakers in senior roles across the supply chain; from viticulture and winery operations, research and development, marketing, corporate social responsibility to corporate communications. The core focus of these roles was to drive new product development, improve process efficiencies and ensure brand integrity through innovative leadership, agility and connection with the consumer. It is with this strong industry perspective, customer focus and value ethos that Inca drives Vinehealth’s operations to ensure outstanding biosecurity outcomes for grape growers, winemakers and other key wine industry and government stakeholders.

Tony Proffitt

Dr Tony Proffitt (BSc, MSc, PhD, Post-graduate Dip. in Viticulture) commenced his career in agricultural science during the 1980s. He has worked in the technical, consultancy, extension and educational sectors of the Australian wine industry since 1995. He spent five years with Southcorp Wines (now known as Treasury Wine Estates) and then joined AHA Viticulture, a vineyard management and consultancy company based in the Margaret River region, Western Australia. Tony continues to work as a consultant viticulturist. He is best known for his work using and promoting the Precision Viticulture suite of tools for vineyard management.

In 2006 he co-authored the book entitled Precision Viticulture a new era in vineyard management and wine production. Tony has a strong interest in education, having been employed as a lecturer in viticulture at Curtin University Western Australia. He is the author of many scientific papers and industry articles which have been published in a range of peer-reviewed and popular viticultural, agricultural and soil science journals.

Liz Riley

Liz is based in the Hunter Valley as an independent viticultural consultant. As a specialist generalist she has been driving the adoption of best practice in the region. This has encompassed setting up regional demonstrations and facilitating workshops to engage the local grower community with concepts and practices that they were unlikely to otherwise explore. The key projects over the last few years has been the “Field Demonstration and Evaluation of heat stress/sun protection products (sunscreens) to improve Semillon wine quality”, Precision Viticulture and the use of insectary plants (informal) as well as ongoing engagement in regards to pest and disease management . The local work has resulted in some practices being tweaked for local conditions which has in turn made them more successful and resulted in adoption. Local winemakers have also been engaged in the process as appropriate to support these activities.

Andy Clarke
Yering Station
Chief Viticulturist since 2011, overseeing all of the Yering family of vines, Andy has developed a strong connection to the vines and is at the heart of the great fruit we produce. Along with his small yet enthusiastic team, he ensures constant communication and interaction with the winery, as the wines we make are a product of both environments working together in synergy.Andy’s knowledge of each micro climate of vines, effective canopy management techniques & connection to the land gives the winemaker the ability to produce the best possible wines.