The Len Evans Award for outstanding contribution went to Rockford's Robert O'Callaghan, who has been stubbornly ploughing the back-to-the-future furrow since the mid-1980s. I have described this enormously influential man elsewhere as the Barossa's philosopher-king: without him, a whole generation of the region's brightest and best winegrowers simply wouldn't have existed. Veteran Best's Great Western winemaker Viv Thomson - a finalist for the big gong - summed up Robert's importance well: 'He is who we are.'
And winner of the Wine Australia Medal ('best new talent') is Tom Shobbrook, making some stunning wines under his own labels - new interpretations of Barossa classics at Shobbrook Wines, and exciting, brave new bottlings at Didi Wine - as well as being part of the Natural Selection Theory crew.
|Tom Shobbrook in his shed|