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Victorian-based viticulturist Kym Ludvigsen dies

Long-serving wine industry member Kym Ludvigsen has died following an accident in his Grampians vineyard on Tuesday afternoon.

Survived by his wife Donna and children Sorren, Annika and their families, Ludvigsen’s career in the industry spanned nearly 40 years during which time he acquired vineyard management experience in South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and New Zealand.

From 1994 until 2002, Ludvigsen was the Victorian regional grape supply manager responsible for Southcorp’s company and grower vineyards.

He worked with Taltarni Vineyards from 2004 until 2009 as company viticulturist, establishing 15 hectares of vineyard in the Pyrenees wine region and 30 hectares in Tasmania.

In 2002, Ludvigsen set up his own viticultural consultancy and the following year established his own 14 hectare vineyard in Victoria’s Grampians wine region, launching his own wine label – Clarnette & Ludvigsen — in 2006, specialising in Shiraz.

Progressing vine improvement issues was Ludvigsen's passion, working hard to improve how grapegrowers source their vines within Australia.

Ludvigsen was chair of the Australian Vine Improvement Association and a board member and past chairman of the Victorian and Murray Vine Improvement Association. He was also a member of the National Vine Health Steering Committee and the Victorian Viticultural Bio-security Committee.

Ludvigsen was a member of the organising committee for the Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference on several occasions and was the workshop coordinator for the Cool Climate Grapevine Technical Conference held in Melbourne in 2000.

He was an active member of Grampians Wine, Wine Victoria and sat on the executive committee for Wine Grape Growers Australia.

Ludvigsen has been a long-time supporter and occasional contributor to the Winetitles’ publications Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker, the Australian and New Zealand Wine Industry Journal, Australian Viticulture and the Wine & Viticulture Journal.

In 2010 Ludvigsen received a distinguished services award from the Victorian Wine Industry Association now known as Wine Victoria.

Chair of Wine Victoria, Damien Sheehan, said Ludvigsen would be “immensely missed by the industry”.

Winetitles publisher Hartley Higgins described Ludvigsen's death as an “incredible loss to the industry” and acknowleded his “vision, drive and energy on vineyard management and research in this country”.

“We’ll also miss his monthly newsletter that offered perennial guides and disciplines needed to care for vines and run an efficient vineyard. His ‘thought for the month’ was a must read – generally a valuable idea or a call to action,” Higgins said.

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