Western Australian Sparkling Symposium

Support the future of sparkling wine

Join us for a full day event featuring interstate and local experts presenting in-person and virtually. Content will include technical elements of premium sparkling production (méthode champenoise and non-traditional methods) across the areas of viticulture & winemaking and feature market insights into the category.

Continue on into the night with a fabulous dinner over looking the lake by Karri Valley Resort and enjoy great conversations with industry leaders and stakeholders. 

A charter bus service will be available for delegates travelling from Margaret River. Those wishing to book accommodation will be provided with a discount code.

Meet the Speakers

Trina Smith - Winemaker Pernod Ricard

With 20 years of winemaking experience, Trina Smith is a skilled winemaker in all styles of wines. Trina became interested in wine after numerous wine appreciation courses and in 1997 completed a Degree in Oenology (University of Adelaide). After finishing her degree, it was time to travel and put the study into practice with

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vintages in USA (Sonoma County), South Africa (Stellenbosch) and Italy (Chianti). Back in Australia Trina started working for Brown Brothers taking control of a number of innovative wines as well as the sparkling wines and a number of the Patricia range wines. After a brief interlude in the Yarra Valley, Trina started working with Treasury Wine Estates in 2007 before moving into the role of Senior Sparkling Winemaker in 2008. In October 2016, Trina was announced as the new Jacob’s Creek Group White & Sparkling Winemaker and is elated by the opportunity to continue specialising on her greatest passion with Australia’s largest wine brand. I relish the challenge of the winemaking process – the delicate balance between the beauty or wrath of nature and the art of winemaking – and the search for subtlety and complexity in the wines.

Nick Dry - Foundation Viticulture

Nick graduated with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Viticultural Science) from the University of Adelaide in December 2000. He was first employed by the Orlando Wyndham Group and spent three years working as a viticulturist in the South-East and Riverland. 

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In 2004 he was appointed to the newly created position of Rootstock Project Manager with the Phylloxera Board of South Australia. Between 2008-2019 Nick managed Yalumba Nursery, during which time he developed an extensive knowledge of variety, clone and rootstock performance, along with an intimate understanding of grapevine trunk disease, grapevine virus, germplasm management and nursery practices. In November 2019 he parted ways with Yalumba to start his own consulting business ‘Foundation Viticulture’. As a consultant, Nick has been involved with a diverse range of projects including;developing planting and redevelopment strategies, working on propagation supply chain strategy as well as technical communication projects. Nick is currently engaged by Wine Australia as the National Grapevine Collection coordinator.

Kate Laurie - Winemaker Deviation Road

Clocking up 25 years as the sole winemaker for two small wineries, Kate has been hands on in all facets of grape and wine production. Stone Bridge Estate was created in partnership with her parents, and Deviation Road with her husband, which gave her the freedom to create the wine styles and have input on the direction

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for each winery from the beginning – in particular with the sparkling wine range. Having lived and studied winemaking in Champagne out of high school, her passion was quickly focused on mastering the art of creating quality sparkling wines within their own regional context. As well as her day to day commitment in the Deviation Road winery, Kate is passionate about sharing her love of all things sparkling, regularly hosting masterclasses and wine judging.

Mick Griffith - Vineyard Operations Manager Domaine Chandon

Mick started his career in viticulture 24 years ago working and studying in the cool-climate region of Orange, NSW.  After a vintage in the Napa Valley, he returned to Australia and began working with Brown Brothers in 2004, where he held various positions across their vineyards including Viticulturist.

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In 2011 he was appointed Vineyard Manager at the Brown Brothers Kayena Vineyard in northern Tasmania. In 2015, Mick returned to Victoria to take up the role as Vineyard Operations Manager at Chandon Australia, where he was responsible for managing all aspects of the prominent French sparkling producer’s vineyards in Victoria. During this time, Mick was also a member of the Wine Yarra Valley Technical Commitee. Over his career, Mick has developed a keen interest in vineyard sustainability, staff engagement and motivation, along with soil and water management, workplace safety and operational efficiency. Mick left Chandon in 2023 to study Conservation and Ecosystem Management. Mick holds an Advanced Diploma of Horticulture Management from the University of Sydney and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Wine Technology and Viticulture from the University of Melbourne.

Nic Bowen - Winemaker Howard Park

Nic Bowen joined the Howard Park winemaking team for the 2021 vintage. Born in the Great Southern region into a winemaking family, he was for a time a professional triathlete, before completing a commerce degree and working in financial planning.

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However this path wasn’t for him. Working vintage in Bordeaux and the South of France made Nic appreciate the cultural interaction of wine, people, food and place and returning to Australia he went back to university to gain a degree in winemaking and pursue a career in the industry. He landed a coveted role at Hardys in South Australia, making wines for Tintara and working closely with sparkling wine master Ed Carr at House of Arras.

Mick Langridge - Senior Winemaker Vasse Felix

Mick Langridge joined Vasse Felix in October 2010, bringing with him years of experience as a winemaker and brand advocate in Margaret River, a region in which he has now completed over twenty-five vintages.

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Mick worked as Senior Winemaker with Vasse Felix Chief Winemaker Virginia Willcock for over a decade, with a significant focus on Vasse Felix’s celebrated Chardonnays. Since 2012, Mick has spearheaded the development of the Blanc de Blancs. This heritage brings a highly specialised ability to craft expressive and outstanding Chardonnay base material. Regular travel to Champagne and other proven sparkling regions has entrenched his love of this celebrated style and strengthened his belief in what unique Southern Margaret River Chardonnay can deliver as sparkling wine.

Lee Hasselgrove - Viticulturist

Lee Haselgrove is a well known Viticulturist, a recent winner of Viticulturist of the Year, Gourmet Traveller Wine, for services to the Great Southern of WA, and also the inaugural winner of the National Vineyard of the Year, YGOW, in 2020.

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Lee graduated from Adelaide University in 1997, with Masters Degree in Viticulture, with the thesis titled, “The Effects of Bunch Exposure on the Accumulation of Quercetin Glycosides and Anthocyanins in Shiraz”. He has worked in viticultural consulting for many years, having started his own firm in 2006, with long term clients throughout WA and Australia. Lee has managed large scale vineyard businesses, and has established a reputation for high quality wine growing capabilities with multiple varieties and soil types. He was the Director of Viticulture for Swinney Vineyards from 2013 to 2021, where he was instrumental in transitioning a MIS vineyard development into a premium wine growing business with a diverse and enviable list of customers. His interests are many and varied, but loves agitating the rootzones of perennial plants with subsoil ripping and compost and other additions.

Yuri Berns - Winemaker Sitella Winery

Yuri Berns started his career off at Sittella as a trainee in winemaking in 2004. He worked vintages at Clos Pegase Wines in the Napa Valley/California, at Howard Park in Margaret River. Yuri Berns commenced Curtain University in 2009, graduating in oenology and viticulture in 2011.

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In 2010 Yuri won the “Vin du Champagne award” at CIVC as a Student for which he was invited to Champagne, where he was a guest for 2 weeks. In 2013 Yuri went back to Champagne to work for the House of Champagne Geoffroy for more vintage experience. In 2011 he won the Talijancich-Leeuwin Award at Curtin University, for Aptitude in the Australian Wine Industry and has also completed the coveted AWAC wine course in Adelaide in 2015. Yuri has a keen interest and passion for making and producing sparkling wines of fruit purity combined with subtle complexity.

Richard Fennessy - Grape & Wine Research Scientist DPIRD

Richard holds the position of grape and wine research scientist at the Department of Primary Industries and Regional development (DPIRD) and has more than 20 years’ experience working in the wine industry.

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Richard joined the department in 2008 and has completed a number of state and national research projects involving new varieties, wine grape clonal performance across climatic regions and assessing wine production techniques. In addition to his role managing the Wine Australia Regional Program on behalf of Wines of WA, Richard is an active member of WoWA’s technical committee, WA Vine Improvement Association and other regional association sub-committees.

Venue – Karri Valley Resort

Located on the edge of Lake Beedelup and surrounded by forest, RAC Karri Valley Resort offers a choice of studios and self-contained chalets. Each has a private balcony with lake or forest views.

Sparkling Symposium delegates can use a dicount code for accomodation on top of any RAC membership discount held. Please email [email protected] for the code. 

Overlooking the lake, Lakeside Restaurant is air-conditioned in summer with an open fireplace in winter.

The lakeside rooms overlook Lake Beedelup and have an outdoor dining area. The secluded chalets include a fully equipped kitchen, open-plan living/dining area and a log fireplace.

From The Blog

Geographe Wine Region 2024 Vintage Report

Geographe Wine Region 2024 Vintage Report

“Whites are round and rich, less acidity, but flavoursome. Chardonnay looks really interesting in the barrel, full of character, Sauvignon Blanc showing more tropical notes and Semillon probably most affected by yield losses in the whites.  Red varieties generally...