Juniper Estate viticulturist recognised with top award

 Ianto Ward and Juniper Estate chief winemaker Mark Messenger. Image supplied.

Ianto Ward and Juniper Estate chief winemaker Mark Messenger. Image supplied.

Juniper Estate and Higher Plane Wines viticulturist Ianto Ward has received the 2018 Viticulture Excellence Award.

As part of his prize, Mr Ward also received a travel bursary to the value of $2000 to use in advancing his viticultural knowledge and practice.

Mr Ward has been the group viticulturist for Juniper Estate since 2008 saying, he loved working with a great team, caring for three parcels of land across Margaret River and contributing to much loved wines.

The award relates, in part, to Mr Ward's improvements and innovations at the Higher Plane vineyard.

Over the past 12 years regeneration has taken place to improve health of the soil and vines by implementing a range of sustainable management techniques.

Many of the changes have been focused on organics, re-vegetating the natural bush and creek lines, along with trialing various pruning and canopy management techniques.

"I am passionate about sustainable farming and natural practices," he said.

"I understand my small role in leaving a lighter touch on the earth and maintaining a healthy and prosperous environment for my children."

This philosophy, together with a meticulous attention to detail from the production team, is delivering results with higher, more sustainable yields of excellent quality fruit.

Higher Plane has been promoted to the top rating of five red stars in the 2019 Halliday Wine Companion.

"I commend MRWIA and Happs Wines for their appreciation of the role that great viticulture plays in shaping wines of provenance in Margaret River," Mr Ward said.

"It is an honour for me on behalf of the vineyard team, to receive this recognition from such respected peers."