McLaren Vale winemaker Toby Bekkers has been elected to the AWRI Board in the small producer category from a field of five candidates.
Louisa Rose, chief winemaker of The Yalumba Wine Company (current AWRI chair) and Ben Bryant of Pernod Ricard Winemakers were the only nominated candidates from the medium and large producer categories respectively, and were elected unopposed.
“I am delighted to serve another term on the AWRI Board, and look forward to working with Toby and Ben,” Louisa said.
“This is an exciting time to be involved in the future direction of grape and wine research, development and extension in Australia.”
Toby Bekkers is a viticulturist, consultant and wine business manager with more than 20 years’ experience. He and his wife, Emmanuelle, own Bekkers Wine and vineyards in McLaren Vale. Toby was recently awarded a 2017 Nuffield Scholarship, supported by Wine Australia, to explore world best practice in the marketing of fine wines directly to consumers. Toby is a current director of the AWRI and was initially elected to the Board in 2014.
Louisa was elected to the AWRI Board in 2011 and has been chair since 2014. Her role with Yalumba sees her involved in viticulture and winemaking in Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia. She is actively involved in a number of industry organisations and committees, and travels around Australia and overseas helping to promote Australian wines.
Ben Bryant is director and chief winemaker for Australia for Pernod Ricard Winemakers. He joined Orlando Wyndham in January 2000 and since then has held various positions within Pernod Ricard Winemakers including winemaking, viticulture and global marketing. In July 2013 Ben was appointed international brand development director (Asia) based in Hong Kong. In 2014 he returned to Australia and held the position of winemaking and supply manager, and then in September 2015 was appointed to his current role.
All three directors will commence their elected term on 1 January. Outgoing Board member Brett McKinnon’s term will conclude on 31 December.