Honoured for outstanding service

Riversun founder now wine fellow.

Riversun founder now wine fellow.

HONOURED BY NZ WINE INDUSTRY: Geoff Thorpe was made a ‘Fellow of New Zealand Winegrowers’ at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards on Saturday night. Picture by Liam Clayton

RIVERSUN Nursery founder and managing director Geoff Thorpe has been honoured by the New Zealand wine industry for his outstanding 35 years of service to the industry.

Mr Thorpe was made a ‘Fellow of New Zealand Winegrowers’ at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards on Saturday night.

The honour was bestowed in recognition of his “tireless dedication to the improvement of the quality of vineyard planting material through the development of world class independently audited certification programmes for grafted grapevines.

“Also for the rescuing of New Zealand’s germplasm collections, importation of over 120 new grapevine varieties and clones from all around the world and the establishment of Linnaeus Laboratory to provide an extensive vine health testing programme to the wider industry.”

Mr Thorpe was one of four wine industry stalwarts honoured for their outstanding service to the industry. The others were Joe Babich, Bill Spence and Lorraine Rudelj.

NZ Winegrowers chairman Steve Green said the four ‘Fellows’ had each made outstanding individual contributions to the development and success of the New Zealand wine industry.

Wine is now New Zealand’s fifth largest export, valued at over $1.6b a year.

“Geoff has helped drive improved nursery standards, Joe’s contribution has been in the evolution of winemaking styles and development of wine making standards, Bill has made major contributions to viticulture and export growth and Lorraine has given 37 years of unparalleled service to industry organisations, including New Zealand Winegrowers,” Mr Green said.

A who's who of New Zealand wine industry

“The ‘Roll of Fellows’ is a who’s who of the New Zealand wine industry, dating back to its inception in 1982.

“As an industry, we wholeheartedly thank Geoff, Joe, Bill and Lorraine for their years of service.”

Geoff Thorpe founded Riversun Nursery in 1982 to supply grafted grapevines to Gisborne vineyards following the discovery of phylloxera.

Riversun has become the largest supplier of grafted grapevines to the New Zealand industry.

In 2000 Mr Thorpe helped rescue a collection of grapevine varieties, clones and rootstocks from the national collection at Ruakura.

In the same year he launched the first independently audited certification programme for grafted grapevines which led directly to NZ Winegrowers Grafted Grapevine Standard. In 2001, he entered into licence agreements with ENTAV-INRA and other overseas plant material providers to source new grapevine material for the industry.

In 2003 he established New Zealand’s first privately owned Level 3 grapevine quarantine facility for the importation of new grapevine plant material.

“Over many years Geoff has been a strong partner with industry organisations in research.”

Riversun has also been a major sponsor of the Bragato Conference for 23 years since the first conference in 1995.

RIVERSUN Nursery founder and managing director Geoff Thorpe has been honoured by the New Zealand wine industry for his outstanding 35 years of service to the industry.

Mr Thorpe was made a ‘Fellow of New Zealand Winegrowers’ at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards on Saturday night.

The honour was bestowed in recognition of his “tireless dedication to the improvement of the quality of vineyard planting material through the development of world class independently audited certification programmes for grafted grapevines.

“Also for the rescuing of New Zealand’s germplasm collections, importation of over 120 new grapevine varieties and clones from all around the world and the establishment of Linnaeus Laboratory to provide an extensive vine health testing programme to the wider industry.”

Mr Thorpe was one of four wine industry stalwarts honoured for their outstanding service to the industry. The others were Joe Babich, Bill Spence and Lorraine Rudelj.

NZ Winegrowers chairman Steve Green said the four ‘Fellows’ had each made outstanding individual contributions to the development and success of the New Zealand wine industry.

Wine is now New Zealand’s fifth largest export, valued at over $1.6b a year.

“Geoff has helped drive improved nursery standards, Joe’s contribution has been in the evolution of winemaking styles and development of wine making standards, Bill has made major contributions to viticulture and export growth and Lorraine has given 37 years of unparalleled service to industry organisations, including New Zealand Winegrowers,” Mr Green said.

A who's who of New Zealand wine industry

“The ‘Roll of Fellows’ is a who’s who of the New Zealand wine industry, dating back to its inception in 1982.

“As an industry, we wholeheartedly thank Geoff, Joe, Bill and Lorraine for their years of service.”

Geoff Thorpe founded Riversun Nursery in 1982 to supply grafted grapevines to Gisborne vineyards following the discovery of phylloxera.

Riversun has become the largest supplier of grafted grapevines to the New Zealand industry.

In 2000 Mr Thorpe helped rescue a collection of grapevine varieties, clones and rootstocks from the national collection at Ruakura.

In the same year he launched the first independently audited certification programme for grafted grapevines which led directly to NZ Winegrowers Grafted Grapevine Standard. In 2001, he entered into licence agreements with ENTAV-INRA and other overseas plant material providers to source new grapevine material for the industry.

In 2003 he established New Zealand’s first privately owned Level 3 grapevine quarantine facility for the importation of new grapevine plant material.

“Over many years Geoff has been a strong partner with industry organisations in research.”

Riversun has also been a major sponsor of the Bragato Conference for 23 years since the first conference in 1995.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.