NEWS: Sevenhill winemaker recognised in Queen's honours list

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NEWS: Sevenhill winemaker recognised in Queen's honours list

Postby n4sir » Tue Jun 14, 2016 11:50 am

Divine wine producer from Sevenhill Cellars recognised in Queen's Birthday honours list
ABC Rural
By James Jooste
Posted 13 June 2016 at 5:21pm


http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-13/c ... s_adelaide

Sevenhill Cellars winemaker Brother John May has been recognised on the Queen's Birthday honours list, being made a member of the Order of Australia.

Brother John has dedicated much of his life to producing wine and promoting tourism in the Clare Valley.

He said he had become a winemaker overnight at Sevenhill in 1972, after a string of unfortunate illnesses and bereavements.

His first focus was on fortified wines and sacramental wines in the Clare Valley, but after many immigrants came to the region, particularly from Austria, more focus was put on table wines.

"We owed it to these people coming to Australia looking for a new life," Brother John said.

He said it was a prestigious role to make wine for sacramental purposes.

"It was a responsibility to do your job properly, and as a winemaker it was a bit of a prestige situation, but the sacramental wine was important from my religious point of view to make sure that wine was made to the canon law," Brother John said.

"It was a great privilege to sit in church and when the priest offered the wine, which becomes the blood of Christ in our faith, it was a bit of a thrill to feel you were responsible for that."

Brother John has watched the Clare Valley expand over the decades, and received his first gold medal for wine in 1975.

"That was a boost, that was a big boost to receive a gold medal," he said.

"You went along and helped to contribute, and to be part and parcel of the tourism. It's wonderful to see the tourism grow."
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