Peter Leske; ASVO Winemaker of the YearNews

ASVO announces Winemaker of the Year

The Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) last night announced the Awards for Excellence winners for 2020, including Winemaker of the Year and Viticulturist of the Year.

Dr Mark Krstic was awarded 2020 ASVO Viticulturist of the Year, while Peter Leske was awarded 2020 ASVO Winemaker of the Year. It was a timely win for the recipients, as they are both passionate about helping winemakers overcome the effects of smoke taint, which devastated wine regions early this year.

Leske is Winemaker and Director at Revenir Winemaking in the Adelaide Hills, where he and a small team make a range of wines for diverse clients using an equally diverse list of grape varieties into even more diverse styles.

Throughout his career, he has sought to increase and share collective knowledge and expertise, through roles at the AWRI and SAWIA, and most recently by
assisting members of the Hills region with the making, sensory assessment and interpretation of smoke impact on hundreds of small-lot wines from affected vineyards.

This effort has also involved working with practitioners and researchers to implement and manage related longer-term projects, which he hopes will add much to the future understanding of the impact of fires in viticultural regions.

Peter Leske

“I consider myself very fortunate to have worked with a vast range of talented people over my time in wine,” Leske (above) said. “They have generously given and taught me much and I value every opportunity to follow their lead and share as much as I can with those around me.”

Dr Mark Krstic

Dr Krstic (above) is the Managing Director of the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) and has played a key role in smoke taint research and emergency response since 2006.

He has more than 23 years of experience in viticulture research, R&D leadership and executive management. He holds undergraduate and post-graduate degrees in Agricultural Science from the University of Tasmania and an MBA from Mt Eliza/Queensland University.

Dr Krstic commenced his career in viticulture R&D at CSIRO, Merbein, where he conducted research on grapevine physiology, crop development and yield estimation. Since that time he has worked in key viticulture roles at the Victorian Government’s Department of Primary Industries, the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (now Wine Australia) and the Australian Wine Research Institute, leading a range of R&D initiatives.

He currently chairs the Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference Inc, is a past President of the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) and graduate of the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia Wine Industry Future Leaders Program (2010).

“I’ve always been fascinated by all aspects of innovation in the viticulture and how that can influence what we are able to taste in the glass,” said Dr Krstic. “I am honoured to be ASVO Viticulturist of the Year.”

Brooke Howell (above), President of the ASVO said: “ There was a very high standard of nominees for the Viticulturist and Winemaker of the Year awards who have all demonstrated excellence in their field.

“It was very pleasing to see Mark and Peter recognised as very worthy winners this year, for their significant contribution and ability to inspire others around them.”

The full list of award categories and winners are as follows:

• ASVO Viticulturist of the year Dr Mark Krstic, The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI)
• ASVO Winemaker of the Year Peter Leske, Revenir Winemaking
• ASVO Viticulture Paper of the Year Dr Rob Walker, CSIRO
• ASVO Oenology Paper of the Year Dr Vanessa Stockdale, Accolade
• ASVO Dr Peter May Award Dr Marcos Bonada, PIRSA-SARDI

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