You be the judge – Rose Kentish first woman to win McLaren Vale Scholarship

Passionate McLaren Vale winemaker Rose Kentish has become the first woman to win the prestigious Wayne Thomas Scholarship. The Wayne Thomas Scholarship is awarded annually to an aspiring wine judge from the McLaren Vale region, and allows the recipient to attend the Australian Wine Research Institute’s Advanced Wine Assessment Course and be an associate judge at the McLaren Vale Wine Show.

“I’m absolutely stoked to win the scholarship,” Rose said.

Under her Ulithorne wine brand, Rose makes premium small batch wine. Last year she completed her third vintage in France, making three wines which she brought back to Australia to augment her McLaren Vale range.

Rose was the Founder and Chair of Vale Cru – a group of high-quality small batch McLaren Vale winemakers – which she is still involved in as a member of the Steering Committee. She is also currently studying a post-graduate Masters in Winemaking at the University of Melbourne.

“As a winemaker, there is so much about the process that is humbling and rewarding,” said Rose. “And I love that the McLaren Vale has such a rich tapestry of bespoke winemakers following their passions in wine.”

Ms Kentish judged at The Great Australian Red wine show last year alongside wine writers Matthew Jukes and Tyson Stelzer, and is now eagerly awaiting the chance to judge at the 2013 McLaren Vale Wine Show.

“Last year I judged at The Great Australian Red and I really look forward to judging at the McLaren Vale Wine Show with these additional judging skills on board,” Ms Kentish said.

“Applying these skills to other judging opportunities is something I really look forward to. What better way to understand, learn, communicate knowledge and build on the wine community’s skills than to be in an environment where a whole region – or in a larger wine show the many regions across the country – has their wines on show.”

The Wayne Thomas Scholarship was introduced in 2008 to honour the late Mr Thomas, a McLaren Vale winemaking veteran and respected mentor who was well known and adored for his larrikinism.

The aim of the Wayne Thomas Scholarship is to foster judging talent from the McLaren Vale by improving recipients’ sensory skills and providing training techniques.