Alex Cassegrain, Senior Winemaker, has been named Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology’s (ASVO) 2021 Winemaker of the Year in recognition of his work in developing solutions for the widespread smoke taint issue which affected Australia’s grape harvest in 2020.
The ASVO Winemaker of the Year award honours an outstanding winemaker who demonstrates a broad positive contribution to the Australian wine industry and / or community; improvement from standard practice in their field through adoption of innovative practices, technologies or standards; and contributes positively to the culture of their organisation and the broader wine industry in either a regional, state or national capacity.
Cassegrain Wines received a grant under the Federal Government’s 2020 Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) grants program which supports short-term, industry led research collaborations into the effects of smoke taint on grapes, a significant industry disruptor that has had a devasting affect in many grape growing regions.
By obtaining a CRC grant Alex has played a key part of in trialling the development of leading-edge techniques and innovations. Further development of some of the techniques may lead to worldwide availability of these techniques. What could have been a disaster for our industry has turned into a potential internationally recognised innovation, led by Cassegrain Wines.
CRC projects run for a maximum of three years, with findings expected to contribute to future commercial strategies not just in the Australian wine industry, and more broadly in the international wine making industry.