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Toby Bekkers wins the Trophy for Excellence in Winegrowing
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Toby Bekkers of Paxton Viticulture was awarded the prestigious annual trophy for Excellence in Winegrowing which was presented at the Growers Dinner held in late September. This is the second year MVGWT has recognised the region’s leading independent winegrape growers.
Judges commented they were impressed by a track record demonstrating Toby has consistently produced fruit to meet winery specifications for multiple company-owned and client vineyards. His management approach combines cutting edge viticulture techniques, a comprehensive understanding of all facets of viticulture and a focus on sound environmental practices including adoption of biodynamic principals. Toby was also recognised for his commitment to development of the regional industry through contribution to numerous regional committees and projects.
Toby was selected from an outstanding group of 10 wine growers nominated by local wineries, who were asked to nominate growers who have implemented management practices to achieve sustained improvements in winegrape quality. The emphasis of this award is to recognise independent growers in the region who are lifting the standard of winegrape production in McLaren Vale thus adding value to the regional industry.
‘McLaren Vale is building its reputation as a leading producer of premium wines world wide, production of high quality grapes is pivotal to producing premium wine and the growers behind the bottle are often not recognised when wines win trophies. This award sets out to bring recognition to well deserving wine growers who have consistently produced to the excellent standard McLaren Vale wineries have come to expect’ said Lucy Hyde, Viticulture Development Officer, MVGWT
This year’s judges were Dr Peter Scholefield, Scholefield Robinson Horticultural Services and Dr Chris Davies, CSIRO Plant industry and Paula Edwards, McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism. The judges commented on the calibre of all of the growers nominated for the award and that the decision was an extremely difficult one to make.
A special commendation was so given to Dudley Brown and Karen Wotherspoon in recognition of the improvements they have made to their fruits end use.