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ASVO Viticulturist of the Year 2023 – Dr Catherine Kidman

R&I News | January 2024
23 Jan 2024
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We speak with Dr Catherine Kidman, recently named ASVO Viticulturist of the Year, about her role as technical viticulturist, researcher, mentor, supervisor and advocate for women in the wine sector.

Dr Catherine Kidman wants the next generation of viticulturists, winemakers and wine marketers to be inspired by the diverse wine communities that exist around Australia; and by the endless possibilities a career in wine can provide.

Catherine – Technical Viticulturist with Wynns Coonawarra Estate – uses her vast array of ‘hats’ in the wine sector – coupled with a science-based, yet practical approach to mentor them and help them see what can be achieved.

Those ‘hats’ could almost fill a book, and include being a long-term member of the Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council Technical Committee; Board Member of Australian Women in Wine, Chair of the Australian Cabernet Symposium 2024, collaborator and researcher for the Coonawarra rootstock trial, member and panel chair for the ASVO, and science journal reviewer.

Photo credit: John Kruger

In awarding her the ASVO Viticulturist of the Year 2023 award, the judges noted Catherine’s generosity in sharing her expertise and cutting edge trial work at Wynns Coonawarra for the greater good of more sustainable wine practices across the sector.

Catherine said she loved the fact that her role as a viticulturist for Wynns and TWE is a collaborative adventure, both internally and externally. 

“I am fortunate that I work with great people, some amazing heritage vineyards and wines that speak of quality, culture and place. Therefore, I feel it is my duty to ensure that my work and research contribute to our vineyards being in a better place tomorrow, because of the practice changes today.

“I strive to research, develop and promote best practice standards with respect to what we are doing within our vineyards, internally at Wynns and more broadly TWE, but also externally through my contributions to committees and projects.

“In my opinion, sustainability embraces the natural environment of our vineyards and soils, but also diversity within our workplace and opportunities for the next generation.”

Catherine said she had been very fortunate in being able to expand her horizons with new research and collaborations – and fostering the next generation through projects, supervision, seminars, publications and mentorships. 

“I am a proud advocate of Coonawarra, and the Australian wine industry and I am passionate about what I do.

“I feel very grateful for the opportunities that have been afforded to me so far in my career, and I am determined to ensure that these opportunities may also be realised by others through education, research outcomes and mentoring.”

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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.