Viticulturist Mr Joe Vaughan and his 100 Hunts Road Vineyard, is the inaugural winner of the Mornington Peninsula’s Dr Allan Antcliff Vineyard of the Year  Award, as announced last night at the Mornington Peninsula Vignerons Association (MPVA) Annual General Meeting.

Named after the influential vine physiologist, Dr Allan Antcliff, the biennial Vineyard of the Year Award recognises the pivotal work of vignerons in the region to prioritise and improve the health of their vineyards and the natural ecology of the region.

Upon receiving the award and a $5,000 travel and research bursary from benefactors Sarah and Bailleu Myer AC, Vaughan said the grant will provide him with an opportunity to gain an even deeper understanding about regenerative farming.

“People have been growing grapes for more than 6,000 years, but we’re still learning,” Vaughan said. “There are not many dud vineyards on the Mornington Peninsula, but we all need to get away from the damaging practices of the past and regenerate to look after soils and plants.”

Before presenting the award, Bailleu Myer said with this prize, the region honours the pivotal work of Dr Antcliff and recognises the importance of sustainable viticulture and the level of attention and work required in the vineyard to make good wine.

“I’m delighted it’s Joe for the first award. He’s a leader of the industry and the Mornington Peninsula, and has a great deal of knowledge to impart and to encourage others. Joe is one of the region’s quiet achievers,” Myer said.

The esteemed judges of the inaugural award were three experienced viticulturists: Dr Mary Retallack, Mark Walpole, and John Whiting. Dr Mary Retallack said Vaughan demonstrated an attention to detail, integrated thinking, a capacity to innovate and a great deal of resourcefulness to deliver a deep commitment to
sustainability and excellence. “There was a clear focus on social, environmental, and economic responsibility with a broad range of topics encompassed in each - from farm safety to soil health, economic production and an appreciation of the surrounding environment, native flora and fauna and the interactions between
each,” Dr Retallack said.

Learn more about MPVA here.

The 100 Hunts Road Vineyard in Tuerong is 27 hectares and supplies some of the Mornington Peninsula’s top wineries with pinot noir, pinot meunière, pinot gris, chardonnay, fiano, friulano, muscat blanc á petit grains, traminer and shiraz.

MPVA CEO, Olivia Barrie said this award and the long term commitment of the regional wine community to achieve excellence in farming sustainability is a priority for the organisation. “A commitment to environmental excellence from the region is really gathering pace.

“We are having many ongoing conversations about how the values and attitudes of the wine industry ensure the health of our vineyards and our local environment,” she said. “Joe and his work at the 100 Hunts Road Vineyard, along with the generosity and vision of Sarah and Bails Myer, and the impressive work of all the nominees and finalists in our first Dr Allan Antcliff Vineyard of the Year Award, present a great deal of promise for how we can continue to improve our skills and reduce our future impact on the natural environment.”

Barrie expressed confidence in the region becoming a leader in sustainable winegrowing and congratulated Vaughan, the judges and all nominees for their participation in the process to recognise environmental excellence.

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