FORMER Upper Hunter student Stuart Hordern is the toast of the region after being named the Len Evans Tutorial Dux for 2016.
The senior winemaker at Brokenwood Wines becomes only the second Hunter Valley-based attendee to dux the week-long tutorial, following Liz Silkman (nee Jackson) in 2006.
The Len Evans Tutorial is also this year’s recipient of the McWilliam’s Maurice O’Shea Award.
This prestigious biennial award, first presented in 1990, acknowledges the significant contribution of an individual or company to the Australian Wine Industry.
A fitting tribute to mark the 10th anniversary of the passing of tutorial founder, Len Evans AO OBE, in 2006.
As Dux of the 2016 course, Mr Hordern has now been guaranteed judging positions at two of Australia’s most premier wine shows, the Sydney Royal Wine Show and the National Wine Show in Canberra.
Len Evans Tutorial Trustee James Halliday noted the ex-Martindale Public School and Scone Grammar School pupil judged exceedingly well across the four varietal sections and was the highest-placed scholar on the Shiraz Dissertation.
Mr Hordern, the son of proud parents Wendy and John, will be flown business class to Europe with invitations to the greatest wine houses.
Many of the rarest, oldest, and greatest wines were opened in one extraordinary week when 12 young(ish) Australian wine personnel were put through the sternest and most rewarding tastings of their lives.
“The Trustees recognise the ongoing need for high calibre Australian wine show judges, and agree that the industry needs, now more than ever, highly-trained professionals to take the premium Australian wine message to a greater audience,” Len Evans Tutorial Convener and tutor Iain Riggs said.
“These are the people at the forefront of grape growing, winemaking and selling premium wine.
“The dramatic increase in sales of imported wine shows a sophisticated consumer.
“A better awareness of premium Australian wine and where it sits in relation to imported wine, is essential to the industry getting its message out to the world.”
Scholars come from the fields of winemaking, viticulture, liquor retailing, restaurant, marketing and journalism.
Twelve fully-paid scholarships are offered, each with wine, food and accommodation valued at $10,000.
The only cost incurred by the scholars is physically getting to the Hunter Valley.