Mclaren Vale awards future judging talent

Image: Peter Kennedy.

Peter Kennedy, winemaker at Ekhidna Wines has been awarded the 2022 Wayne Thomas Scholarship.

Named after prominent McLaren Vale wine identity, the late Wayne Thomas, the annual scholarship recipient receives a fully funded place at the Australian Wine Research Institute’s Advanced Wine Assessment Course and the opportunity to judge as an Associate Judge at the McLaren Vale Wine Show – one of Australia’s most significant wine shows.

An experienced winemaker, Peter has completed 19 vintages in McLaren Vale, Langhorne Creek and St Emilion. He has been a Panel Judge with Winestate Magazine since 2016 and in 2020 completed his WSET Level 3 with a Distinction. Keen to hone his tasting skills further, he was inspired to apply for the Wayne Thomas Scholarship to advance his learning.

“I had the pleasure of knowing Wayne Thomas,” said Kennedy.

“He was such a character with a heart of gold and a passion for the McLaren Vale Wine Industry, and I am so proud to receive this scholarship in his memory.”

In completing the AWAC course, Kennedy will experience different wine styles from around the world and develop his sensory vocabulary and palate calibration alongside esteemed industry peers during the intensive four-day workshop.

These newly acquired skills will be put into practice in October 2022 when Peter will be an associate judge in the McLaren Vale Wine Show.

McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism Association general manager Jennifer Lynch reaffirmed the region’s reputation as a home of talented and passionate wine industry ambassadors.

“The scholarship enables recipients to advance their judging profile whilst also developing knowledge and experience to benefit our region and industry,” said Lynch.

“Peter’s commitment and dedication to our region goes above and beyond his winemaking role at Ekhidna and he is a very worthy recipient.”


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