Food Wine Produce
Tuerong vineyard wins inaugural environmental excellence award

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Joe Vaughan – 100 Hunts Road Vineyard

Viticulturist Joe Vaughan’s 100 Hunts Road Vineyard has been named the inaugural winner of the Mornington Peninsula’s Dr Allan Antcliff Vineyard of the Year Award. The biennial award, named after the influential vine physiologist, was announced at the Mornington Peninsula Vignerons Association’s recent AGM and recognises the pivotal work of Peninsula vignerons to prioritise and improve the health of their vineyards and the natural ecology of the region.

Joe’s 27ha vineyard at Tuerong supplies some of the Peninsula’s top wineries with pinot noir, pinot meunier, pinot gris, chardonnay, fiano, friulano, muscat blanc à petit grains, gewurztraminer and shiraz. The award included a $5000 travel and research bursary from benefactors Sarah and Baillieu Myer, which Joe said would provide him with an opportunity to gain an even deeper understanding about regenerative farming. “People have been growing grapes for more than 6000 years, but we’re still learning,” he 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.”

Baillieu said the region honoured the pivotal work of Dr Antcliff and recognised 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 said. “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.”

Award entries were judged by viticulturists Dr Mary Retallack, Mark Walpole, and John Whiting. Mary said Joe 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,” she said.

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

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