Robert Hill-Smith receives 2019 Maurice O’Shea Award

24 July, 2019 by Andy Young

Robert Hill-Smith has received the prestigious Maurice O’Shea Award at a Gala Dinner, held in conjunction with McWilliam’s Wines and the Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference (AWITC), held at Adelaide Oval, Adelaide.

Named to commemorate one of Australia’s most iconic winemakers, Mount Pleasant’s Maurice O’Shea, the award is given in recognition of the incredible service and contribution people or organisations have made to position Australia as a world leader in winemaking, cultivation, innovation and technology.

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The award recognises Hill-Smith as an industry leader and specifically called out his work fostering the next generation of Australian wine industry through the Working with Wine Fellowship.

In addition his commitment to preserve, protect and enhance the environment, develop wine export opportunities and establish the Yalumba Nursery to support the industry with clonal and varietal diversity, were also recognized.

Upon accepting the award Hill-Smith said: “I accept this honour realising my name now sits alongside many incredible people who have served our Australian wine world with style, persistence and success. To say that I am humbled by this prestigious award and more than a little embarrassed is an understatement.

“The great people I have worked alongside at Yalumba have played a huge part in supporting my family and its various endeavours. The Maurice O’Shea Award is a generous and respected initiative by the six generation McWilliam family and I thank them genuinely for this recognition.”

Jeff McWilliam, fifth generation McWilliam family member who presented the award said: “As a multi-generational, family owned business whose long-term vision in this industry is unquestioned, we are delighted to announce Robert Hill Smith of Yalumba as the winner of this year’s Maurice O’Shea Award.

“His leadership, innovation and ongoing commitment to the betterment of the Australian wine landscape is legendary. We the McWilliam family, Chairman Jim Brayne and Group Winemaker Jim Chatto are delighted with Robert’s selection. A worthy winner on so many fronts.”

The AWITC also incorporates the Australian Grape and Wine Outlook Conference and the Wine Tech exhibition, being held in Adelaide from 21 – 24 July with this award announcement the marquee event.