Former Jacob's Creek winemaker Philip Laffer AM has been named Life Member of the Australian wine industry – the first recipient of the new national award.
Administered by the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia, the Life Member of the Australian Wine Industry Award recognises outstanding leadership and contribution to the nation’s wine industry.
Federation chief executive Paul Evans said Laffer had spent his entire life promoting the nation’s wine industry – and it was richer for it.
“We need champions like Philip and it is important for industry and the wider community to hold our pioneers in high regard because we can both learn from them and encourage the next and future generations to follow in their footsteps,” Evans said.
Laffer has worked in trade, marketing, winemaking, viticulture and management over the years, including being one of the architects of Jacob’s Creek.
He graduated with Agriculture from Roseworthy College in 1961, and Oenology in 1963, before working progressively at Lindeman’s Holdings as winemaker, technical director, head of marketing/sales and then executive director from 1963-1990.
From 1990-2012 he worked at Orlando Wyndham, Pernod-Ricard Pacific and Premium Wine Brands.
From 2013, Mr Laffer has continued in the industry as a winemaking and viticulture consultant in Australia, China and Argentina.
He has served on the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia Board, including as vice president, as well as president and vice president of the South Australian Wine Industry Association.
“Receiving this award is an honour and I am humbled and proud to be recognised by my industry in this way,” Laffer said.