Ararat viticulturist Kym Ludvigsen namesake for inaugural Royal Melbourne Wine Awards trophy

THE LEGACY left by late Ararat viticulturist Kym Ludvigsen will live on through Australia’s premier wine competition.

The Royal Melbourne Wine Awards will present the Kym Ludvigsen Trophy for Viticultural Excellence for the first time this year.

The trophy recognises excellence in viticulture and goes to the grower or team behind the grapes that produce the single vineyard trophy wine. 

Awards chairman Phil Sexton said the committee was excited and honoured to recognise Mr Ludvigsen’s achievements.

“The trophy celebrates grape growers and vineyard managers whose contribution cannot be underestimated in the creation of the very best wines,” he said.

“Outstanding viticultural practices are vital to the production of outstanding wine. I’m proud the awards recognise excellence in the field and hope the trophy encourages ongoing progress in Australian viticulture.” 

Mr Sexton said Mr Ludvigsen was devoted to Australian viticulture for more than 40 years.

“His work developed and advanced the landscape of many Australian vineyards,” he said.

“He was passionate about viticulture, research and development and vine improvement.” 

“This award is a perpetual trophy and will ensure his legacy. It’s perfect really.” - Donna Ludvigsen

Mr Ludvigsen’s wife Donna will present the award.

“Many have contacted me and said all these wonderful things, but it’s fleeting,” she said.

“This award is a perpetual trophy and will ensure his legacy. It’s perfect really.”

Mrs Ludvigsen said her husband, who died in an accident in December last year, was a humble man who would have considered the award a tribute to all single vineyard growers.

“Kym recognised that every vineyard was unique, that every grower was passionate about their vineyard, that every grape represented a year’s toil and dreams,” she said.

“He believed in and lived viticultural excellence and had a strong belief that to get the best wine, you had to have the best grapes.”

The Ludvigsens moved to Ararat in 1995 after living in the Hunter Valley and the Adelaide Hills.

“Kym was not only known in the wider wine community, he was also well known to a lot of Wimmera people as well,” Mrs Ludvigsen said.

Mr Ludvigsen was an executive board member of Wine Grape Growers Australia, Australian Vine Improvement Association chairman and a member of the Victorian and Murray Valley Vine Improvement Association.

He was on the Wine Victoria Regional Council, a long-serving member of Grampians Winemakers and a founding member of the Ararat Wine Co-operative.

He was also part of Ararat Rural City’s audit committee and spent early mornings swimming laps at the Ararat Aqatic Centre.

A plaque at lane four of the indoor pool bears his name.

The Kym Ludvigsen Trophy for Viticultural Excellence is one of two new awards this year along with the Victorian Trophy for Wines of Provenance.

Entries for the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards have been extended to August 15.

The awards will be presented on October 16.

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