Wine industry leadership award

Leading wine industry innovator Robert Hill Smith has received the 2009 Rabobank Leadership Award in recognition of his contribution to Australasia’s food, beverage and agribusiness industries.

Mr Hill Smith, the proprietor and managing director of the Yalumba Wine Company, is one of Australia’s most successful wine industry leaders and entrepreneurs.

Announcing the award winner, Rabobank CEO Bruce Dick said the success of Yalumba Wine Company in the competitive global market was testament to Mr Hill Smith’s exceptional leadership skills.

“Robert’s leadership and foresight has overseen an era of innovation and growth that has taken Yalumba from a solid family business operation into a significant, progressive international success,” Mr Dick said.

“In doing so — and through his tireless efforts as a champion of quality Australian and New Zealand wine — Robert has played an instrumental leadership role in positioning this region’s fine wines on the world stage and contributing to the international growth of our wine industries.”

Together with the South Australian Barossa Valley winery, Yalumba’s business operations encompass Nautilus Estate in New Zealand’s Marlborough, Voss Vineyards in the USA’s Napa Valley, Jansz Tasmania in the Pipers River region, and the Smith & Hooper Vineyard in South Australia’s Wrattonbully region.

Mr Dick said, under Robert Hill Smith’s direction, Yalumba had consistently produced a range of quality innovations that had enabled broad portfolio growth and earned a reputation for being at the forefront of viticultural knowledge and a leader in the development of viognier and riesling.

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