"I am so humbled and overwhelmed to be included in this prestigious honour roll. It was a genuine surprise," says Viv Thomson OAM, director of one of Australia's oldest wineries, Best's Great Western.
Best's was established by the Best family in 1866, and was bought by Thomson's family in 1920. A Roseworthy graduate, he's been involved in the winery his entire life, and at age 75, has completed his 54th consecutive vintage at Best's in 2014.
Viv Thomson was elected president of the Victorian Wine Industry Association (VWIA), predecessor to Wine Victoria, in 1982. In 1994, he received a VWIA Distinguished Service Award and was made a Life Member.
"You need to have a lot of passion to be involved in this business – to grow grapes and make wine. It's like farming, a year-to-year challenge, and every year is different," says Thomson, who also acknowledges the amazing contribution Best's staff has made over the years.
"The wine business is a great industry to be involved in, and I thoroughly appreciate the assistance and support from colleagues and peers over the years. You don't win these awards on your own. All our achievements have been a joint effort."
Here at Wine Victoria, we warmly congratulate Viv on being awarded an Order of Australia medal for his outstanding contribution to the wine industry. We look forward to seeing his continuing involvement with Best's and the greater industry for many years to come.