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Thursday 18 November 2021

Coonawarra viticulturist has triple reasons to celebrate

Ben Harris from Wynns Coonawarra Estate has three reasons to celebrate. 

Not only has Harris been named the 2021 ASVO Viticulturist of the Year at the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology Awards for Excellence, he also been appointed to take over the management of the Wynns viticulture team. 

After joining in 2010 as a vineyard manager, he steps into the shoes of industry stalwart Allen Jenkins who retired last month after a 20-year tenure. 

Colin Bell, 2021 ASVO Viticulturist of the Year Advisory Committee Chair, said: “Ben Harris is one of the most respected and regarded viticulturists in the industry. He has a massive role but still finds the time to push viticultural excellence, offer his time to industry and, most inspiringly, offer his time to young individuals starting their journey. 

"Technical projects like data-based harvest predictions, virus elimination, and robotics make Ben’s contribution highly relevant and essential to the industry. What really stood out was his commitment, integrity, and contribution outside of his role and his great ASVO values and leadership style.”

The news follows the announcement in September that Ben has been selected to participate as a 2022 Len Evans Tutorial Scholar.


It’s also the second honour to be bestowed upon Wynns by the ASVO this week. Senior winemaker Sue Hodder was announced as a Fellow of the ASVO in recognition of her particularly outstanding and meritorious contribution to the grape and wine industry and to the society.

The 2021 ASVO Winemaker of the year was Alex Cassegrain from Cassegrain Wines in the Hastings River region of  New South Wales. 

He grew up in the vineyard and worked in the Cassegrain family winery, with a hands-on learning approach to the time-honoured winemaking practices that have been passed down through the generations.

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