In front of 800 guests at the International Wine Challenge Awards Dinner in London Tuesday night, Dr Richard Smart was granted the IWC Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to viticulture.
In his citation for the award, Charles Metcalfe said “..he has four degrees including a PhD and a Doctor of Agricultural Science, but he is very far from an ivory-tower academic… he is a practical man at heart, happiest out in a vineyard. In fact, it could well be our winner who coined the phrase, ‘wine is made in the vineyard’ before it was the ubiquitous maxim it is today. Some refer to him as ‘The Flying Vine Doctor’.
He is still working as a viticultural consultant, and is always ready with a controversial opinion (the nonsense of biodynamic viticulture, for instance). And for what he has achieved in a lifetime’s work among vines, and the improvements in viticulture he has championed, we are proud to name him the 2012 winner of the IWC Lifetime Achievement Award.”
The largest wine competition in the world, the International Wine Challenge is about to celebrate its 30th year. However the Lifetime Achievement award has only been offered twice before, both to distinguished winery proprietors, in 2011 to Miguel Torres of Spain and in 2012 to Sir George Fistonich of New Zealand.
In accepting the award, Dr Smart said he was grateful for the recognition of the role of viticulture, and viticulturists, in wine production. Dr Smart is well known in the American wine sector as a researcher into canopy management, author and columnist, and also speaker.