Killeen wins Winetitles’ scholarship

Name: Simon Killeen

Rutherglen-born Simon Killeen is the 2008 recipient of the Grapegrower & Winemaker/Winetitles $2000 sponsored scholarship at Charles Sturt University.

Killeen is currently studying a Bachelor of Applied Science (Wine Science) at CSU in Wagga Wagga. Starting the course in 2007, he is currently in his second year of studies, and will complete the course at the end of 2009.

Killeen is a decedent of a long line of winemakers. His grandfather, Norman Killeen, and father, Chris Killeen, have played an influential role in his life, helping him to develop a keen interest in the wine industry from an early age.

'I have embraced the opportunity to one day follow in the footsteps of my predecessors and join my family's long winemaking dynasty that stretches back 140 years,' Killeen said.

'The thought of one day making wine in century-old concrete open vats and experiencing their capabilities is one of the many factors that drives me and fills me with enthusiasm about returning home to make wine for Stanton & Killeen,' he said.

Killeen does not intend on returning home to the property in Rutherglen immediately after his studies. Instead, he hopes to work in wine regions across Australia, France and Portugal to gain more experience to bring home.

'I want to absorb as much knowledge as possible wherever I work,' he said. 'I have a long and exciting career ahead of me, and I am going to strive to be the best I can possibly be.'

Killeen has an enthusiastic and fresh approach to his studies and the wine industry. He told Grapegrower & Winemaker he aims to release his own boutique label of super premium wine, similar to that of Mesh Riesling, while also producing wines for Stanton & Killeen that are contrary to the conservative techniques that much of the industry employs.

'I am honoured to be awarded the 2008 Grapegrower & Winemaker/Winetitles Scholarship. It is the anticipation of what is to come that fuels my motivation to someday be a successful winemaker,' he said.

Winetitles managing director, Hartley Higgins, said the Grapegrower & Winemaker Scholarship had been created in recognition of the increasing need for qualified personnel within the viticulture industry.

'This scholarship program provides financial assistance for students commencing their careers to gain formal qualifications,' he said. 'Winetitles has been working with Charles Sturt University to identify suitable candidates and Simon Killeen has demonstrated the necessary skills and enthusiasm to advance his education.

'The Wine Science and Viticulture degrees at CSU are arguably the leading courses of their kind in the country and we are proud to be involved,' he said.

The Grapegrower & Winemaker/Winetitles Scholarship is offered to any student studying full-time in the second year of either the Bachelor of Applied Science (Viticulture), the Bachelor of Applied Science (Wine Science) or the Bachelor of Applied Science (Wine Science)/Bachelor of Applied Science (Viticulture) double degree at the Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga. Killeen was presented with his scholarship last month at the university campus.

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