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New award rewards Viticultural Excellence in Margaret River

The Margaret River Wine Industry Association is to recognise that great fine wines are made in the vineyard, with a new Viticultural Excellence award.

For the first time, the Association will publicly acknowledge the importance of viticulture as the cornerstone of Margaret River’s reputation as a premium wine region.

The award of Viticultural Excellence will be open to Grape Growers and Viticulturalists who produce grapes within the Margaret River GI, for Margaret River wines.

While the award will be associated with the annual Margaret River Wine Show, it will be judged over vintage (February to April) and awarded in May. This allows the independent Judging Panel to assess finalists’ vineyards during the harvest period.

Pest and disease management, environmental sustainability, occupational health and safety, irrigation, soil nutrition, economic viability, innovation and more will contribute to the selection of the winner.

The winner will receive a trip to France, courtesy of Travellers Choice, where that person can examine current French viticultural practices. The winner will be asked to prepare a report or presentation to pass on information learned to other Margaret River viticulturalists.

Association president Ron Fraser said the Viticultural Award would also recognise a specific Viticulturists’ outstanding achievement in the Margaret River wine industry.

“To make the quality wine Margaret River is famous for, winemakers must have quality fruit. This award acknowledges the vital input of the Viticulturalist,” Mr Fraser said.

“By examining international techniques, we can ensure that Margaret River Viticulturalists are constantly learning and improving to maintain our vineyard standards.”

Application forms are available from the MRWIA website http://www.margaretriverwine.org.au



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