Wine Australia is continuing its dedication to the celebration of diversity and innovation by sponsoring the viticulturist of the Year category in the 2019 Australian Women in Wine Awards held in New York City.
This important award recognise women who are passionate about wine at one of its most crucial state of being – on the vine.
Three lucky finalists have been announced to be in contention for the award. All three ladies come from South Australia and have great insights and stories about their personal journey in the wine industry and how they are supporting the advancement of viticultural practices in their regions.
Meet the Finalists
Brooke Howell - Yalumba
Brooke joined the Yalumba Viticultural team in 2010 and has worked her way up to her current role as the Barossa Valley Vineyard Manager and Viticulturist for South Australia at Yalumba Family Winemakers. Alongside her vineyard management position, Brooke also oversees trial work and technical management of company-owned vineyards across approximately 800Ha in 3 regions of South Australia.
Brooke’s experience in viticulture ranges from cool climate premium grape growing to a more warm climate commercial scale. Some of her main trial work has focused on organic and biodynamic production along with different methods for adaptation to climate change. Brooke became the first female Chair of the Barossa Viticulture Technical Group in 2018, helping to disseminate technical information to growers, assisting with regional trials along with judging at the South Australian pruning competition. Additionally, since November 2017 Brooke has been an active board director for the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology and is currently the Vice-President.
Amanda Mader – Vine Scout
Amanda’s career focus for the past 25 years has been dedicated to Viticulture with extensive experience and practical application in an array of Viticultural regions in South Australia including the Barossa Valley, Eden Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale and Inland regions (Riverland).
Currently Amanda operates Vine Scout, a Vineyard Monitoring and Viticulture Technical Support Service based in the Barossa Valley assisting over 20 clients located in the Barossa Valley, Eden Valley, Clare Valley and Mclaren Vale winegrowing regions. Vine Scout works mostly with local South small to medium sized Vineyards/Wine Companies as well as Chinese Stakeholders.
She is also involved in a family 7th generation vineyard operation (30ha) and premium boutique wine label-Gumpara Wines in the Barossa Valley.
Sheridan Alm – Starrs Reach Vineyards
Sheridan is involved with the strategic direction and management of the Starrs Reach Vineyard portfolio, one of the larger in the Riverland region of South Australia. Alongside her husband Craig, 6000 tonnes of popular premium style wine grapes are produced over 250 hectares of vineyard. Starrs Reach Vineyard is a wine grape grower and wine producer of scale, producing premium quality fruit and wine to specification.
Sheridan is a skilled viticulturalist with an integrated pest management focus and as former Chair and current Deputy Chair of the Riverland Winegrape Growers Association believes in empowering growers with a strong voice and better business tools. Sheridan is a graduate of the Future Leaders wine industry program and the Riverland representative to the Wine Grape Council of South Australia.
Sheridan is the 6th generation of her family to farm on the River Murray and has a healthy respect for the dynamic yet fragile natural resources on which her business is reliant and to that extent served as a Board Member with SA Murray Darling Basin NRM Board and as Chair of the River Murray Advisory Committee during the last drought period.
About the Australian Women in Wine Awards
The Australian Women in Wine Awards ceremony will coincide with the launch of Far From Ordinary: Aussie Wine Month, which will bring Australian wineries across the globe for the largest Australian wine promotion ever held in the USA. These activities have been made possible by the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package.
The awards will drive excitement and appreciation for our home-grown talent appearing in one of the world's leading wine cities.
To follow the Australian Women in Wine Awards 2019 in real time by watching the livestream via this link on Wednesday 18 Sep 10am AEST.