The Barossa Grape & Wine Association (BGWA) ‘Services to Industry’ award was established 11 years ago, honouring those who demonstrate values of dedication, leadership and a sustained period of voluntary service to the Barossa grape growing community.
BGWA is very pleased to extend the 2021 award posthumously to Geoff Knights, who has worked hard for Barossa grape growers from the early 1980s until his untimely passing in 2009.
After working as an assistance horticulturist at Roseworthy in the late 1960s, from 1971 Geoff managed his father’s vineyard in Lyndoch, beginning a 50-year grape supply relationship with Yalumba.
Geoff bought his first vineyard at Light Pass in 1972, adding to his holdings with subsequent blocks in 1978 and 1997.
A long-term member of the early industry organisations; SA Farmers Federation, Barossa Wine Grape Growers Council and Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology, Geoff was later the SA delegate to the national body Winegrape Growers Australia.
In 2007 he joined the steering committee set up to establish BGWA and he was a founding member of both the Grape Barossa committee and the Barossa VitiTech Group (BVTG).
In honour of his passing in 2009, the BVTG established an ‘Innovation Award’ in his name, to encourage research in the region. He was awarded Barossa Vigneron of the Year in 1998 and was a member of the Barossa Viticulture Landcare Group in the 1990s. A member of the indicative grape pricing committee in the late 1980s to early 90s, he was also a Director of Barossa Infrastructure Limited (BIL) from 2006-2009.
Geoff was a founding member of the North Para Growers Co-operative, holding the Chairman position for a period. He was also a member of Tourism Barossa for many years, actively involved in the determination and declaration of the Barossa Valley and Eden Valley Geographic Indications (GIs).
Said the nominator of the award “I knew him as someone always willing to learn; to better himself and better his vineyard. To hear, take in and evaluate new technology ideas or other viticultural tools… but more than that, he was willing to put his hand up and be part of groups and committees; attend meetings and seminars – not only for his own benefit, but to participate and help the greater Barossa community.”
The 2021 Services to Industry award was presented to Geoff’s son, Stuart Knights at the Declaration of Vintage, Sunday 21 February 2021.
BGWA would also like to congratulate the Barons of Barossa Viticulturalist of the Year, Will Holmes and Winemaker of the Year, John Hughes, also awarded at the 2021 Declaration of Vintage
Pictured above LR: Nicki Robins (BGWA Viticultural Development Manager), Stuart Knights, Will Holmes, John Hughes and James March (BGWA CEO)