Chris Hancock MW, Winemaker and Deputy Executive Chairman at Robert Oatley, was acknowledged by the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) and named a Life Member of the Australian Wine Industry at a special awards presentation in Adelaide last week. Only two others received the award James Halliday (critic, author & winemaker) and Denis Horgan (founder/owner of Leeuwin Estate).
Each of the recipients is a household name in Australia and their efforts in the nation’s vineyards, wineries, boardrooms and gracing the pages of the most discerning wine publications, have played a key role in creating a vibrant modern industry and brought Australian wines to the attention of consumers around the world.
“This coveted Life Member Award recognises outstanding leadership and contribution to the nation’s wine industry over and above an individual’s career achievements,” said WFA President Sandy Clark.
“Chris, Denis and James are worthy winners and take their place among other greats including Wolf Blass, d’Arry Osborn, Philip Laffer, John May, Terry Lee, Peter Barnes, Peter Wall and Bill Chambers. The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia is proud to administer this award”, he commented.
Chris Hancock MW said "I am very flattered to have been invited to join this august and distinguished group of individuals, all of who have contributed so much to taking the Australian wine industry to the heights it has now attained in just a few short decades. The progress that has been made during this time in developing regulatory structures and initiating and implementing global trading agreements and accords has been remarkable. I am very proud to have had a role in these activities during what has been a most exciting period in the evolution of the modern Australian wine industry".
Chris joined Robert Oatley in the very early days of Rosemount Estate and continues to assist the family whilst developing his own vineyard and brand in McLaren Vale, his home state. Working for the Oatley family for more than 30 years, he has played an integral role in shaping both their wine styles and worldwide success. Hancock has been involved in Australian Wine industry affairs since 1978 and also served for nine years as a Board member of the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation (now the Australian Grape and Wine Authority).”