The wine fraternity Barons of Barossa have named the 2019 Barossa Winemaker of the Year
and the 2019 Barossa Vigneron of the Year at the traditional Declaration of Vintage held in
Tanunda on Sunday 17 February. These awards reflect the respect both men are held in by their peers.
Tim Smith said,
“I’m humbled to be chosen to be part of this lineage of truly great
winemakers. I’m not a 4th or 5th generation Barossa winemaker. In fact, I’m only here because
I fortuitously landed a vintage job at Yalumba 33 years ago, leading me on a completely
unexpected and exciting path.”
Earning his Barossa pedigree over years of working alongside some of the region’s finest
winemakers, he acknowledges their influence on his approach to winemaking; accessing great
vineyards, timely picking, a light hand in the winery and a sensibility for tradition.
“I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the greatest winemakers in the world here, all
of who have been generous with their time and their knowledge.”
According to Tim, being part of the ‘handing down’ of experience, both locally and through
his extensive travel, is all part of the continuum that is the unique Barossa culture.
Ben Zander, on the other hand, is a 4th generation Eden Valley grape grower managing the
family mixed vineyard and grazing property as well as a contracting enterprise.
With a Bachelor of Applied Science in Agriculture from Roseworthy and a stint as S.A.
Viticulturist for Pernod Ricard, he has first hand knowledge of what it takes to achieve best
practice viticulture across all aspects of vineyard management.
“There are numerous issues facing grape growers. It’s important for us to
communicate with each other as we strive to understand and adapt to the current grape
growing environment and adopt new principles for future sustainability.”
Congratulations Tim and Ben!