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Winemaker and WCA life member Gerry Sissingh dies, aged 78

Gerry Sissingh, a life member of Wine Communicators of Australia (WCA), died last Friday at the age of 78.

Sissingh was a winemaker, consultant, wine communicator and wine educator and devoted much of his life to the wine industry. Born into a wine merchant family in the Netherlands, Sissingh migrated to Australia in the 1950s to seek a future in the industry he knew and loved.

Under the guidance of Ray Kidd, Lindemans chief executive officer, and assigned to the Lindemans Ben Ean winery in the Hunter Valley, Sissingh made some of the most famous Semillon and Shiraz vintages from Lindemans Hunter Valley. In 1971, as the foundation winemaker at Rothbury Estate, Sissingh went on to make some of the finest expressions of Hunter Valley Semillon that the world had seen to that date.

With his family background on the merchant side of the business, Sissingh well understood just how important it was to be a good wine communicator.  It was in WCA's predecessor organisation, The Wine Press Club of NSW, that Sissingh took an active role as a member and committee member, being the Treasurer for many years.

He was awarded Honourary Life Membership of WCA, in recognition of his enormous contribution. Post winemaking, Sissingh moved to Sydney and was a wine educator in the wine appreciation courses run at the Mosman Community College, where he was also a board director.

“Gerry sought-out, and encouraged the pursuit of excellence in everything he was involved in,” Jeffrey Wilkinson, WCA executive officer said. “Gerry will be remembered as one of ‘the giants’ of the Australian wine business, creating a pathway for others to follow as Australia took a grander place in the international world of wine.”

AB Mauri



WID 2017