Penfolds sommelier takes home AWAC Scholarship

Image: Mark Kustos sampling wines on a tasting panel. Credit: Winetitles.

The Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) has announced Marcell Kustos, head sommelier at Penfolds, as the recipient of the Advanced Wine Assessment Course (AWAC) Scholarship.

This year, the ASVO is again supporting one of its members to participate in the Advanced Wine Assessment Course (AWAC), delivered by the Australian Wine Research institute (AWRI).

A panel of judges with extensive expertise in the area of wine show judging and wine sensory assessment have this year selected Marcell Kustos to receive the scholarship.

Kustos commenced his career in the wine industry through his family vineyard. Eventually, his passion for flavour pairings and terroir stimulated him to complete a PhD in Wine Science at the University of Adelaide.

His research on memorable wine experiences and regional typicality gained international industry support and funding from Wine Australia.

His innovative, science-driven wine pairings and consumer experience-focused approach earned him the Head Sommelier position at Penfolds Magill Estate.

Kustos is also part of the Sommeliers Australia committee and he remains actively involved in wine education and research.

Commenting at the announcement of the awards, ASVO president Brooke Howell said the scholarship program is an important component of the ASVO Awards program.

“Our Awards for Excellence and scholarship program is one way we honour outstanding people from across Australia that are making significant contributions to the Australian Wine industry,” said Howell.

Whilst each of the candidates were worthy of merit the judges felt that both Kustos and the wine industry would benefit from his attendance at AWAC.

“Attending the AWAC will help me continue professional and personal development in the Australian wine industry,” said Kustos.

“I’m hoping to refine my palate to identify faults, better understand the impact of winemaking and viticultural intervention on the final product, which in turn will allow me to share the story of and promote exceptional wines from Australia.

“The AWAC will also qualify me to judge at regional and national wine shows and contribute to lift Australian wine quality and provide feedback to wineries as the show system was intended,” continued Kustos.

Recognition of this year’s scholarship winner will be made at the Annual ASVO Awards for Excellence Dinner, which is taking place on Tuesday, November 17 at the Wine Centre in Adelaide.

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