ASVO Honours Two Legendary Wine Leaders

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The Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) has announced two new fellows: Brian Croser AO and Di Davidson AM.

“Selection was particularly difficult this year because of the extremely high calibre of individuals nominated for our Fellows program, and for the first time more than one member was recommended by the selection committee. The collective wisdom that both these people encapsulate is extraordinary as is the diversity of background and experience,” ASVO president Mardi Longbottom said.

The purpose of the honorary membership category of Fellow of the ASVO is to recognise the exemplary contributions by Members of the Society, and to the discipline and/or profession of Viticulture and/or Oenology.

Di Davidson AM

Raised at Angas Plains, in what is now known as the Langhorne Creek wine region, Di completed an agricultural science degree at the University of Adelaide and a Master of Science at James Cook University.

She commenced working in the wine industry in 1975 as the first national company vineyards manager for Penfolds Wines when it was still owned by the Penfold family, with responsibility for vineyards throughout Australia and in New Zealand.

Di has worked for 40 years in the agricultural and horticultural industries of Australia as well as in several other countries, notably South Africa, New Zealand and India. For much of that time she managed her own consulting practice, Davidson Viticulture, and was privileged to work with many clients in every wine region of Australia. She still manages her own vineyards in the Adelaide Hills.

She was a founding member of the ASVO and has served on innumerable industry committees, including nine years on the board of the GWRDC.

Di is currently working on major water reform in Australia as a board member of the Murray Darling Basin Authority and is also a director of the Plant Biosecurity CRC. She is the deputy chancellor of the University of Adelaide.

Di is a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and of the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science. She has been appointed an AM in the Order of Australia for services to the wine and horticulture industries and higher education.

Brian Croser began as a winemaker with Thomas Hardy and Sons in 1969. In the early ‘70s Brian attended The University of California at Davis for a masters program and went on to establish the Wine Science program at Charles Sturt.

By 1976 Brian had established Petaluma and in 1978 gave it a home in the Piccadilly Valley and in 1986 established Argyle winery in Oregon.

Brian served as chairman of Adelaide, Canberra, Sydney and Perth wine shows and twice as president of the Winemakers’ Federation. For his service to industry he was awarded an Order of Australia, the Maurice O’Shea award and was Decanter Man of the Year in 2004.

Brian was deputy chancellor of University of Adelaide from 1999 to 2007 and was awarded the degree of Doctor of the University for his service.

Brian still lives at the Tiers Vineyard in the Piccadilly Valley and is the winemaker for Tapanappa Wines and Tunkalilla wines in Oregon.

Brian is deputy chairman of AGWA.

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