The 2016 Hunter Valley Legends Awards were held earlier this month at Cypress Lakes Resort, with 230 attendees celebrating the recognition of the outstanding achievements of those who have made a major contribution to and excelled in the wine and tourism industries.
In its 10th year, the Hunter Valley Legends Awards played homage to its 2016 Wine Industry Living Legend Alain Le Prince who has contributed over 40 years to the Hunter Valley Wine Industry. Not only was Alain inducted, but winners in four other categories were also announced.
Chairman of the Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association (HVWTA), Hon George Souris gave special recognition to the high calibre of this year’s nominees and that the annual awards are a celebration of, and give recognition to the skill, hard work, dedication and excellence of the region’s winemakers, viticulturists and industry professionals, and reflects on the successes of the year that has passed.
The Living Legend award is bestowed to honour a Hunter Valley grape grower or winemaker who has been involved in the Hunter Valley Wine Industry in excess of 30 years and who has been in a position to influence the course of the Hunter Valley Wine Industry.
Alain’s story is of a successful migrant who arrived in Australia in 1971 with his wife Jeni with a dream of growing grapes and making fine wine. In the early 1970s Alain paved his way working in the vineyard at Rothbury Estate, as Vineyard Manager for Tyrrell’s Wines and planting and managing his own Chardonnay vineyard in Pokolbin. From 1980 to 2000, Alain became a partner at Terrace Vale Wines where his role in the wine industry had expanded from vineyard manager to winemaker and sales manager. Alain’s wines have won numerous accolades and he has remained involved in the wine industry for over 40 years.
Other winners included:
- Winemaker of the Year sponsored by First Creek Winemaking Services – Liz Jackson, First Creek Wines
- Rising Star of the Year sponsored by Riedel – Belinda Paterson, General Manager The Sebel Kirkton Park, Hunter Valley
- Viticulturist of the Year sponsored by Laffort Australia – Paul Harvey, Mount Pleasant Wines
- Cellar Door of the Year sponsored by CBA Local Business Banking – De Iuliis Wines
Image | Hunter Valley Legends 2016
Photo by Elfes Images