ASVO announces Viticulturist and Winemaker of the year winners of 2020

The Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) last night announced the Awards for Excellence winners for 2020, naming Dr Mark Krstic as ASVO Viticulturist of the Year, and Peter Leske as ASVO Winemaker of the Year.


2020 ASVO Viticulturist of the Year


Mark Krstic is the managing director of the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI). Mark has more than 23 years of experience in viticulture research, R&D leadership and executive management.

He holds undergraduate and post-graduate degrees in Agricultural Science from the University of Tasmania and an MBA from Mt Eliza/Queensland University.

Mark commenced his career in viticulture R&D at CSIRO, Merbein, where he conducted research on grapevine physiology, crop development and yield estimation. Since that time he has worked in key viticulture roles at the Victorian Government’s Department of Primary Industries, the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (now Wine Australia) and the Australian Wine Research Institute, leading a range of R&D initiatives.

Mark currently chairs the Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference Inc., is a past President of the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) and graduate of the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia Wine Industry Future Leaders Program (2010). He has played a key role in smoke taint research and emergency response since 2006 and recently co-authored a book on soil health Healthy soils for healthy vines (CSIRO Publishing) with Professor Bob White. He is extremely passionate about the grape and wine sector and the outcomes that science can deliver.

“I’ve always been fascinated by all aspects of innovation in the viticulture and how that can influence what we are able to taste in the glass. I am honoured to be awarded the ASVO 2020 Viticulturist of the year award,” said Dr Krstic.


2020 ASVO Winemaker of the year


Peter Leske is winemaker and director at Revenir Winemaking in the Adelaide Hills, where he and a small team make a range of wines for diverse clients using an equally diverse list of grape varieties into even more diverse styles.

He greatly enjoys the opportunities that this challenge offers for collaboration with other industry members, which he cites as one of the genuine strengths of our community. Throughout his career, he has sought to increase and share collective knowledge and expertise, through roles at the AWRI and SAWIA, and most recently by assisting members of the Hills region with the making, sensory assessment and interpretation of smoke impact on hundreds of small-lot wines from affected vineyards.

This effort has also involved working with practitioners and researchers to implement and manage related longer-term projects, which he hopes will add much to the future understanding of the impact of fires in viticultural regions.

“I am surprised and delighted to be nominated in 2020: I consider myself very fortunate to have worked with a vast range of talented people over my time in wine. They have generously given and taught me much and I value every opportunity to follow their lead and share as much as I can with those around me,” said Leske.

Brooke Howell, president of the ASVO said, “There was a very high standard of nominees for the Viticulturist and Winemaker of the Year awards who have all demonstrated excellence in their field. It was very pleasing to see Mark and Peter recognised as very worthy winners this year, for their significant contribution and ability to inspire others around them”.

The full list of award categories and winners are as follows:

  • ASVO Viticulturist of the year: Dr Mark Krstic, The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI)
  • ASVO Winemaker of the Year: Peter Leske, Revenir Winemaking
  • ASVO Viticulture Paper of the Year: Dr Rob Walker, CSIRO
  • ASVO Oenology Paper of the Year: Dr Vanessa Stockdale, Accolade
  • ASVO Dr Peter May Award: Dr Marcos Bonada, PIRSA-SARDI

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