Saltram Winemaker Shavaughn Wells has been awarded Australian Winemaker of the Year 2016 by Winestate Magazine at their annual Wine of the Year Awards held in Adelaide. The honour is awarded to the winemaker who produces the largest number of high ranking wines over the course of the year.
One of Australia’s most respected wine magazines, Winestate evaluated over 10,000 wines from Australia and New Zealand, with judging panels of industry winemaker peers, Master of Wine individuals and industry experts, in order to come to their decision regarding Australia’s finest wine producer. Less than five per cent of wines entered reached the finalist stage this year.
Shavaughn was humbled to be awarded the honour. “It's such great recognition that reflects upon Saltram's amazing vineyards and the dedicated and passionate people I work with, many of whom often work behind the scenes,” she said.
“I believe that wine plays its place in telling the history of a time and region and the Barossa and Saltram have so much to offer on this front. It's personally a thrill and this recognition will further inspire my passion and curiosity for making wines which express our region and challenge the future.”
Shavaughn has been at Saltram since 2005. Her early affinity for wine spurred from a dual influence of having grown up on a vineyard in Victoria’s Merbein and having a grandfather who was a winemaker and Managing Director of Mildara Wines.
Completing an Oenology degree at the University of Adelaide, Shavaughn followed in her grandfather’s footsteps undertaking her first vintage at Mildara in Merbein in 1997. In the late 1990s she moved to Mildara’s Coonawarra winery, and in 2000 made sparkling wines at Yellowglen.
With a move back to Victoria in 2001 Shavaughn then made wines for Yarra Ridge and St Huberts, with a vintage in-between in Limoux in France. In 2003 she joined the white wine team at Wolf Blass, until 2005 when she started at Saltram and has proudly remained since.
In 2008 Shavaughn was a recipient of a coveted Len Evans Scholarship; and in 2013 won Winemaker of the Most Outstanding Red Wine at the Adelaide Wine Show for the 2010 Saltram Mamre Brook Shiraz.