At the 2022 Sydney Royal Wine Show Trophy Winners Lunch held on August 5, Wine Communicators of Australia (WCA) awarded the prestigious Legend of the Vine award to Andrew Caillard MW.

Caillard has a significant history in the Australian wine industry going back more than 35 years, and has worked as a writer, critic, consultant, ambassador, auctioneer, wine show judge and ‘international advocate for Australian wine’.

The Shout spoke to Caillard after the Sydney Royal Wine Show Trophy Winners Lunch.

“To be recognised after a very long time in the industry, to be recognized by by my local community and our New South Wales committee is extremely meaningful, because these are the people that I’ve grown up with, who I’ve engaged with for over the years and to be recognised by them — for me, it’s very meaningful and very emotional,” Caillard said.

Andrew Stark, WCA Executive Officer, also expressed his pride at recognising Caillard’s efforts in the field.

“WCA is delighted to be able to honour Andrew’s many contributions to the wine industry,” Stark said.

“We all know his work with Langton’s, with the Penfolds Rewards of Patience programme, his contributions to the industry as a judge, writer and advocate.

“He was also the driving force behind the Red Obsession and Blind Ambition movies, and has provided countless hours of unheralded work assisting wineries improve their businesses,” Stark added.

Caillard graduated from Roseworthy Agricultural College, South Australia in 1984, and passed the Master of Wine examination in 1993, winning the Madame Bollinger Medal for wine tasting along the way.

In 1989, Caillard established the Langton’s Sydney wine auction and continues to be involved with its operation, alongside running auction events in the Barossa. Since 2009, Caillard has worked with Endeavour Group initially as ‘Fine Wine Principal’, before his role evolved into a consultancy position, allowing him work on other projects.

During his winner’s speech, Caillard emphasised the role that technology is playing in restoring Australia’s either lost or mythologised wine history. The Shout asked Caillard for further detail on how this new technology was practically impacted his research into Australia’s wine past.

“In terms of technology and data, it’s all about what’s happening within the library system. There’s the Trove library for instance, on which any person can access newspaper articles,” Caillard said.

These resources are crucial to Caillard’s upcoming publication The Australian Ark, a three-volume history of Australian wine.

“I found a lot of stories about Australian wine that have never really been told — that have been forgotten. They’ve been forgotten but not lost, and that’s the beautiful thing, we have a real opportunity to ‘re-press’ our story.”

Caillard continues to write about Australian wines, and advocate for the industry worldwide.

Caillard joins an illustrious list of leading industry figures as the tenth to accept the Legend of the Vine award, following Sandra Przibilla, Lyndey Milan, Huon Hooke, Clive Hartley, Iain Riggs, Rob Hirst and David Lowe.

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