HISTORY OF THE SCHOLARSHIP
The Victorian Wine Show regularly returns to the Victorian wine industry any profits that accrue from the running of the annual wine show.
Since 2016, the Victorian Wine Show has awarded an annual Victorian Wine Industry Travel Scholarship. This award, to a minimum value of $7500, enables the recipient to travel overseas to increase his/her knowledge and understanding of a particular grape variety, wine style or winemaking method. On return from overseas travel, the acquired knowledge is distributed to the winemaking community of Victoria as we continue to share and grow. This scholarship is on hold due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
2017: Tony Fikkers (Giant Steps Vineyard)
2018: Mark Hickin (Wine x Sam)
2019: Madeleine Marson (Vinea Marson)
We have now committed to supporting Melbourne Polytechnic Bachelor of Agriculture and Technology (Viticulture and Winemaking Major) students in their study and into their careers. A $5000 annual bursary is awarded to the most worthy student, selected by the Polytechnic staff.
2021: Dominic Kearton
Last year’s winner, Dominic Kearton, had this to say about the scholarship award:
"Balancing study commitments and industry experience can be a tough ask, especially in the first half of the year while you look to gain valuable vintage work experience. You often find yourself in a position where, so as not to neglect your studies, you’re not taking on a full-time work load. At the same time, you are also not studying full time and therefore don’t qualify for any government study assistance. It is a sort of financial purgatory that is common to most students. This is exactly where the Victorian Wine Show scholarship helped me personally, as it allowed me to focus on getting as much as I could from my degree while not having to worry about the financial issues of casual employment. This scholarship is a great gesture from the Victorian Wine Show and made me confident I was entering a genuinely supportive industry."
A Heathcote region winemaker with a passion for climate adaption and clonal diversity in Sangiovese has been awarded an International Travel Scholarship at the 2019 Victorian Wine Show.
Madeleine Marson, assistant winemaker at small family-run Heathcote winery, Vinea Marson, was awarded the scholarship at the recent Victorian Wine Show presentation ceremony held at Mitchelton Winery in Nagambie.
“I am delighted to receive this year’s Travel Scholarship and explore Sangiovese in more depth,” said Madeleine following the announcement. “As the flagship red wine with some twelve clones planted in our sotto & sopra vineyards at the foot of the Mount Camel Range, it is a variety I derive a great degree of enjoyment from working with from the vine to the bottle.”
Madeleine’s application to the judging panel detailed her desire to visit Tuscany in Italy in August 2020 to focus on Sangiovese grape varieties and climate practices.
“As a key variety in the Heathcote wine region’s evolution and embrace of Mediterranean and alternative varieties over the past twenty years, its potential in a variety of Australian wine regions in addressing the challenges of our changing climate is evident,” said Madeleine.
“With the support of the travel scholarship I will explore the potential of alternative varieties in meeting the viticultural and winemaking challenges of our changing environment.”
The Travel Scholarship was launched in 2017 as an initiative of the Victorian Wine Show Committee with funding assistance from the State Government’s Wine Growth Fund.
The aim of the Scholarship is to help build knowledge for the Victorian Wine Industry.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for professional development on a personal level for the recipient,” said Victorian Wine Show Director Robert Paul. “The scholarship continues to benefit the Victorian wine industry as a whole, as, the winner will report back to the industry at large and share the knowledge they gain.”
For Madeleine Marson, the scholarship is a dream come true. “I’m grateful for this opportunity provided by the Victorian Wine Show with funding from the Victorian Government’s Wine Growth Fund and buoyed by their commitment to fostering the careers of young winemakers. I look forward to reporting my findings.”
"The Victorian Wine Show Scholarship is a great way to help support research into international winemaking and/or viticultural techniques that can be applied locally to the Victorian Wine Industry.
This same scholarship contributed to funding of my overseas travel that allowed me to research my interest in the Pinot Gris and Riesling styles of Alsace as well as other varietals of that famous region. This trip opened my eyes to the varying methods of production and viticultural beliefs of Alsace and how they can be applied locally.
Overall it was a rewarding experience for me that contributed to furthering my knowledge of this region, its styles and local winemaking and viticultural practices.
By immersing yourself in the region you have the ability to make some great industry contacts and lifelong friendships along the way."- Mark Hicken
I am pleased to announce the winner of the Victorian Wine Show travel scholarship is Tony Fikkers from Fikkers Wines. This scholarship was awarded for the first time at the 2017 Presentation of Awards ceremony.
It is a unique opportunity to further your knowledge and to benefit the Victorian wine industry as a whole. We look forward to Tony sharing his experience with the industry, upon return from his travels.
I encourage all Victorian winemakers, viticulturists and grapegrowers to consider applying for this scholarship or bringing it to the attention of a Victorian wine industry member who you think should apply in 2018.
On behalf of the Victorian Wines Show Committee, we congratulate all the candidates who applied.