Wine industry icon honoured

November 22, 2023 BY

ASVO Awards National Wine Centre, South Australia Photo: John Krüger

Wynns Coonawarra’s Catherine Kidman has been awarded the 2023 ASVO (Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology)Viticulturist of the Year in a case of second time lucky after being a finalist in 2019.

Dr Kidman (pictured at work in the region’s vineyards) is considered a champion in her field as a technical viticulturist and her reputation extends well beyond the Coonawarra.

Aside from her own work, particularly in research and development, Dr Kidman is also a respected mentor to up and coming viticulturists, supporting PhD students as a supervisor, as well as being an active advocate for Women in Wine.

“To be the recipient of the ASVO viticulturist of the year is quite frankly an incredible feeling,” Dr Kidman said. “I am a proud advocate of the ASVO and therefore, to be recognised by the society for the work I do in viticulture is a tremendous feeling and I’m very grateful for this award.”

The judging panel were effusive in their praise of the two-time finalist.

“Applying a science-based yet practical approach, Cath is generous in sharing her expertise and cutting-edge trial work at Wynns Coonawarra (including on epigenetic vine responses, infrared thermal imaging, and virus elimination) to the wider Australian wine growing community to enhance a sustainable future for all vineyard owners,” the panel said.

Over her career, Dr Kidman has been involved in numerous collaborative projects with local Limestone Coast organisations and the University of Adelaide and Charles Sturt University.

These have included optimising irrigation, bud fruitfulness, primary bud necrosis and yield estimation, heritage and clonal selection, enhancing local biodiversity and grapevine virus mitigation and she has shared the outcomes of her work at regional, national and international conferences and other forums.

“A key success is the ability to collaborate and return results that matter to our region,” Dr Kidman said. “I would like to think that the practices I am working hard to change in our vineyards contribute to the industry being in a better place than where they were yesterday.”