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Robert Hill Smith wins Maurice O'Shea Award

Robert Hill Smith wins Maurice O'Shea Award

Yalumba Chairman Robert Hill-Smith received the prestigious Maurice O’Shea Award at a gala dinner last night.

The event was held in conjunction with McWilliam’s Wines and the Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference, at Adelaide Oval, Adelaide.

The triennial award commemorating one of Australia’s most iconic winemakers, Maurice O’Shea, is awarded to those people or organisations who have made a significant contribution to the Australian wine community and remains the most prestigious wine industry award.

The award recognises Hill-Smith as an industry leader in all aspects, specifically calling out his work fostering the next generation of Australian wine industry through the Working with Wine Fellowship; his unwavering commitment to preserve, protect and enhance the environment; developing wine export opportunities and establishing the Yalumba Nursery to support the industry with clonal and varietal diversity.

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”.

The award was presented by McWilliam’s fifth generation family member Jeff McWilliam who said: "Robert's leadership, innovation and ongoing commitment to the betterment of the Australian wine landscape is legendary." 

Hill Smith was appointed Yalumba's managing director in 1985, joined the board in 1988 and was made chairman in 2015.