Mount Pleasant is thrilled to announce that Viticulturist Steve Ferguson has been awarded the prestigious title of Viticulturist of the Year at the Hunter Valley Wine Industry Gala, an annual event that celebrates individuals who have made a significant contribution to the region’s wine and tourism industry.

A highly respected Australian viticulturist, Steve has been looking after the vineyards of Mount Pleasant since joining the team in 2017 after working in the Orange, Rylstone and Broke regions.

Steve has a strong focus on vineyard health and his dedication to maintaining our vines is reflected in excellent crops of high quality fruit, leading to many recent awards and accolades for the resulting wines.

The Viticulturist of the Year award recognises a Hunter Valley viticulturist who has shown outstanding management of Hunter Valley vineyards. The Award recognises that any outstanding wine starts with good vineyard management resulting in quality grapes. The Viticulturist of the Year recognises in particular the performance of the viticulturist over the last few seasons, with consideration to all previous achievements.

  • An outstanding contribution over the preceding twelve months, showing results and achievements.
  • Proven vineyard management skills that have resulted in the consistent high performance of the vineyard/s in their care ie. fruit quality, fruit supply, which may have been recognised by awards or respected media coverage.
  • Any research and development, trialling or adoption of best practice, new and innovative vineyard management techniques to enhance vineyard production goals and sustainability.
  • Any vineyard/s that have achieved single vineyard status in the care of the nominee.

While no fruit was harvested in the 2020 vintage, Steve and his team assisted the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) study the impact of prolonged smoke exposure to vines and the influence of the smoke on the vine's fruit. Steve has also implemented a large scale refurbishment of Mount Pleasant's older vineyards by rejuvenating their root systems and fertilising the soil with organic matter.

Our Chief Winemaker, Adrian Sparks, received an unprecedented second nomination for Hunter Valley Winemaker of the Year, but was unfortunately pipped at the post by Andrew Margan of Margan Wines.

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees - we love being a part of the Hunter Valley community!