By Andrew Starke

The inaugural Hunter Valley Wine Industry Alasdair Sutherland Scholarship has been awarded to Phil Le Messurier of Thomas Wines.

The annual scholarship is aimed at fostering the talent of aspiring young wine show judges in the Hunter Valley.

As the successful applicant, Phil will attend the Australian Wine Research Institute’s (AWRI) Advanced Wine Assessment Course, and will also be an associate judge at the 2010 Royal Sydney Wine Show.

The scholarship is named in memory of one of the Hunter Valley’s most admired and respected winemakers, Alasdair Sutherland.

The AWRI Advanced Wine Assessment Course is an intensive four-day course designed for participants with considerable formal wine tasting experience. It aims to prepare potential new wine show judges and develop the sensory analysis capabilities and the vocabulary of Australian wine industry personnel at an elite level.

Le Messurier was awarded the scholarship by a panel of nine leading Hunter Valley winemakers including Chairman of Judges at the Royal Sydney and Hunter Valley Wine shows, Iain Riggs, and 2009 Hunter Valley Winemaker of the Year, Jim Chatto.

“There is no doubt that the rapid increase in quality of Australian wine, and Hunter Valley wine in particular, has been due to our wine show system,” Riggs said. “The critical evaluation of quality and where we stand on the world wine stage can only be sustained with the talented, enthusiastic younger generation stepping up.”

“The Al Sutherland Scholarship is an excellent and worthwhile addition in assisting our up and coming winemakers in getting a start in the judging arena.”

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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