Young Gun title for CSU wine science graduate


Wednesday 28 Jun 2017

A Charles Sturt University (CSU) graduate is among the best new winemakers in Australia in 2017 after being named a winner in the Young Gun of Wine Awards.

Mr Rob Mack – Director and Winemaker at South Australia's Aphelion Wine Co. – took the trophy for Best New Act at an awards ceremony in Melbourne in June.

The Young Gun Best New Act sponsored by Wine Australia recognises a winemaker making a particularly strong impact early in his or her career.

Mr Rob Mack, co-founder of Aphelion Wine Co in McLaren Vale, graduated from CSU in 2016 with a Bachelor of Wine Science.

He also received top marks for sparkling wine production in the Wine Production subjects.

Acting Director of the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre at CSU in Wagga Wagga Dr Leigh Schmidtke said, "Rob's achievements, commitment, passion and drive are outstanding.

"They demonstrate the importance of industry-focused teaching programs at Charles Sturt University."

Founded in 2014 by Mr Mack and his wife Ms Louise Rhodes, Aphelion Wine Co. specialises in producing quality McLaren Vale Grenache, along with Mataro and Shiraz. Sagrantino is a variety that the CSU graduate also focuses on as a unique offering in the Aphelion line-up of wines and offer a fuller bodied wine to complement the lighter bodied Grenaches.

Mr Mack said, "The wine science degree gave me a solid grounding in the technical aspects of winemaking along with a lot of exposure to sensory analysis.

"The Charles Sturt University degree strikes a balance between these two important aspects and I feel the program provided a very strong base of knowledge which I could then expand on via my own experience and stylistic direction after graduation.

"I would definitely recommend this degree for any aspiring winemaker, particularly those who are already working in the trade.

"The structure of the wine science program is very flexible with regard to vintage timings and the Charles Sturt University academic staff go out of their way to accommodate requests during this busy period for students.

"The Young Gun of Wine Award has given me an incredible amount of confidence and has proven that we can produce a unique and high quality range of wines.

"Many doors have opened since the awards ceremony, particularly with regard to distribution and trade awareness."

The Bachelor of Wine Science is offered full-time or part-time through CSU online.


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Media contact: Fiona Halloran , (02) 6933 2207

Media Note:
Photos by Louise Rhodes.