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Viticulturist Dr Samantha Scarratt is the latest expert to join the Wine Network Consulting team.

Wine Network Consulting (WNC) is expanding its viticultural and sustainability services across Australia and internationally, led by their new Senior Consultant and Viticulturist, Dr Samantha Scarratt.

Scarratt is an expert in Australian and New Zealand viticulture, with a PhD in Vineyard Ecology. Her most recent role as Accolade’s Director of Grape Supply for Australia and New Zealand, has further established her connections and knowledge of international wine business.

Scarratt’s interest in sustainable winegrowing practices led her research into the ecology of insects in vineyards. Her PhD research studied the use of flowering plants and cover crops to attract beneficial insects, whilst reducing pests and eliminating the need for pesticides.

Moving to New Zealand to undertake her PhD at Lincoln University, Scarratt worked in technical viticulture, vineyard management and grower relationship management roles. This included 12 years at Wither Hills (Lion) in Marlborough, where she became the Viticulture Operations Manager.

“I went to New Zealand thinking I would be there for 3 years to complete my PhD and stayed for 18 years,” Scarratt said.

“Living and working in New Zealand was a great experience. I met and worked with some really inspiring people and was given some great opportunities to learn and grow, such as taking part in leadership programs and developing new skills. Frost fighting with helicopters was also a key highlight.”

Originally from South Australia, Samantha and her young family moved back to Adelaide in 2020, where she began her role at Accolade Wines. Leading a team of over 100 people and delivering 250,000 tonnes of grapes to winery networks across Australia and New Zealand, meant she was able to develop great industry and business connections.

“It allowed me to engage with brilliant people to make some of the most amazing wines,” she said of her time at Accolade.

Working with WNC means that Samantha can be based in Adelaide and still work with a broad range of clients across Australia and internationally.

“It’s an opportunity to work with great people who are well connected and have great experience in the wine industry,” she said.

“I want to grow the viticulture side of Wine Network and work with businesses to improve their sustainability.”

Dr Scarratt joins a team of experts at WNC, including Steve Flamsteed’s appointment as a Director and Senior Consultant in 2021. As Chief Winemaker at Giant Steps for 17 years, Steve became one of Australia’s most influential winemakers. His subtle approach and emphasis on quality fruit has produced incredible, award-winning wines.

“So much of it comes back to good fruit. Get the viticulture right and you’re most of the way there,” Flamsteed said of his approach.

“Now I get to work behind the scenes with some fantastic wineries and vineyards across Australia & New Zealand.”

WNC’s Managing Director, Mark O’Callaghan, is excited about the new additions to the team: “To be honest, I couldn’t be happier. And this is on top of Adam Keath joining us too, after 20 years at Chandon. It’s a great team and everyone has really complimentary skills. It means we get to work on some amazing projects. It’s certainly never dull around here!”

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