Yalumba is Australia’s oldest family owned winemaker for many reasons, and the Australian wine industry was reminded of two leading examples why when Proprietor Robert Hill Smith and Winemaker Louisa Rose were individually recognised at the 11th Gourmet Traveller WINE ‘Winemaker of the Year’ event in Sydney. (held in association with Kemenys)
Robert Hill Smith 'Len Evans Award for Leadership'
“Rob Hill Smith’s leadership qualities have driven Yalumba to the enviable position it occupies today as one of Australia’s most progressive and successful wine companies. For his perspicacity in looking at the wider industry picture and finding ways that he and Yalumba can contribute to the growth of the Australian wine industry, and for the spirit of generosity that underlies this, he is worthy recipient of the Len Evans Award 2008” Peter Forrestal, chairman of Judges
In its second year following the passing of the great Len Evans, this award recognises ‘the contribution to the Australian wine industry by an inspirational leader’. When Peter Bourne, fellow Judge and MC on the night announced the winner, three words were chosen to define Robert’s contribution to the wine industry “innovation, conservation and elevation”.
Robert Hill Smith Profile
Click here to read a feature on Robert Hill Smith by leading wine writer Peter Forrestal in the latest issue of Gourmet Traveller WINE
Louisa Rose 'Winemaker of the Year'
"Third time's the charm for this talented winemaker, who was a well-deserved finalist for this award in both 2000 and 2005. The flair she has shown in her work at Yalumba, plus her painstaking attention to detail and the strength of leadership has led to the production of some of Australia’s finest whites. For the sheer quality of these and much more, Louisa Rose is a worthy Winemaker of the Year.”
- Peter Forrestal, chairman of Judges
Louisa Rose is only the second woman to be honoured as Winemaker of the Year, and said on the night "this is a great honour which any number of people could be up here on stage to accept this award. We are a great team at Yalumba – a family in a sense, who try to do our best to place something great in a bottle that people will enjoy."
Louisa Rose Profile
Click here to read a feature on Louisa in the latest issue of Gourmet Traveller WINE
The Gourmet Traveller WINE Winemaker of the Year judges are all ranked as the finest palates in the country. They are Peter Forrestal (chairman), Peter Bourne, Nick Bulleid MW, Andrew Caillard MW, Huon Hooke and Sophie Otton.
The Award was judged on the pursuit of excellence in winemaking, with the key criteria remaining focused on the quality of the wines released by the finalists over the past 12 months or so. They also judge the collaboration and cooperation within the teams these winemakers work with.