By Andy Young
Sue Hodder and Sarah Pidgeon from Wynns Coonawarra Estate, have been jointly named the ‘Winemaker of the Year’ at the 2016 Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) Awards for Excellence.
Hodder and Pidgeon were recognised for the contributions towards developing a Cabernet Sauvignon for the future, described by Treasury Wine Estates as “a 17 year partnership which has included an evolution of ideas about growing and making Cabernet Sauvignon.”
Speaking after being named, Wynns Senior Winemaker, Sue Hodder, said: “Receiving this ASVO award is a true honour. We worked hard on our submission and are proud that our effort is recognised by one of the peak bodies of the Australian wine community.
“It highlights a 17 year collaboration between Sarah and I, which has always had the ultimate goal of developing Cabernet Sauvignon for the future as its focus. We love Cabernet and Wynns, and our work ensures we don’t rest on the laurels of past glory from Wynns’ amazing heritage.
“We are all about ensuring Wynns Cabernet Sauvignon remains firmly on the international stage as a world player and benchmark for this most loved and scrutinised wine variety for years to come.”
Pidgeon added: “Wynns winemaking is a unique opportunity to work with fruit from vineyards that are amongst the best Cabernet Sauvignon sites in the world. The unquestionable quality and heritage is just a starting point at Wynns – the willingness as a team to challenge and stretch the Coonawarra styles to the diverse offerings in the Wynns wines today is the ultimate reward.
“The wines have never been as satisfying, diverse and frankly, as damn good, as they are right now. It’s an exciting time to be at Wynns.”
This is the fifth year of the ASVO Awards for Excellence, which were developed to recognise excellence and innovation in Australian Wine.
ASVO President, Dr Mardi Longbottom, said: “Sue and Sarah have demonstrated enormous commitment to the pursuit of winemaking excellence from the vineyard, through the winery, in their wines and, the extension of this, through their engagement with the broader wine community.”