ABOUT SMART VITICULTURE
ABOUT DR RICHARD SMART
So-called “The Flying Vine Doctor”
Richard Smart has been involved with viticulture since 1966. He is very experienced as a viticulturist, from a teaching, research and consulting viewpoint.
He graduated from Sydney University with Honours in Agricultural Science in 1966 and, subsequently has earned another three degrees. His M.Sc (Hons) from Macquarie University in Sydney was awarded to a study of sunlight use by vineyards.
Dr Richard’s Ph. D from Cornell University in New York State was study under the famous Professor Nelson Shaulis of Geneva. In 1995 he was awarded a D. Sc. Agric. degree by the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, in recognition of research into canopy management effects on vineyard yield and quality.
Photo on right of “Dr. Richard Smart and his Professor and mentor
Nelson Shaulis of Cornell University.
Photo taken January 1988 in New Zealand”
Most of Richard’s career has been in viticultural research and teaching, at Griffith, NSW, at Roseworthy College in South Australia (including a period as Dean, Faculty of Oenology), and also as Government Viticultural Scientist in New Zealand. With his team of co-workers he helped lay the viticultural foundations for an emerging, quality-oriented and internationally competitive wine industry.
He has authored or co-authored over 380 publications, including the internationally acclaimed book “Sunlight into Wine” which is regarded globally as the reference on canopy management. Another significant achievement was as Viticultural Editor and principal contributor to the multi-award winning The Oxford Companion to Wine (1994, 1999, 2006 and 2014), edited by Jancis Robinson MW.
Richard Smart has helped to popularise the role of viticulture in the wine business, in an industry where the limelight is invariably given to “winemakers”. Richard’s strong beliefs about winemaking in the vineyard have now become industry by-words, but this was not always the case. Feature articles about Richard and his views in global wine magazines like The Wine Spectator, Decanter, Wine and Spirit International as well as international newspaper wine columns have helped spread the message.
Since the mid 1980s Dr Smart has also been involved in international consulting, initially on behalf of the NZ Government as a supplement to research. Consulting has been a full time occupation since 1991, and he has consulted to over 300 clients worldwide. While many clients want to use Richard’s expertise in canopy management to improve wine quality and vineyard yield, complete viticultural advice has been given on a range of issues like choice of site, variety, rootstock, irrigation and nutrition management. Smart Viticulture also offers seminars on canopy management (over 50 have been conducted to date around the world!) as well as educational grape and wine tours and intensive viticultural training.
Dr Smart now lives in Victoria, Australia.
Awards to Dr Richard Smart
- 1970 N.S.W Public Services Board Traveling Fellowship, for research in Israel.
- 1971 Auscott Postgraduate Scholarship, NSW, for graduate study in USA.
- 1980 French Government Scholarship, for study in France.
- 1983 Walter and Carew Reynell Fellowship, Roseworthy College.
- 1983 Honorary Research Lecturer, American Society of Enology and Viticulture.
- 1989 New Zealand Wine Industry Personality of the Year.
- 1989 Honorary Research Lecturer, South African Society of Enology and Viticulture.
- 1990 Honorary Life Membership, New Zealand Society for Viticulture and Oenology.
- 2001 Honorary Research Lecturer, South African Society of Enology and Viticulture.
- 2004 For contributions to New Zealand wine industry, personal award.
- 2004 Wine and Spirits Magazine (US) October, One of world’s 50 most influential winemakers
- 2004 Wine Industry “Personality of the Year” for Innovation, Wine magazine, UK.
- 2005 Among “50 Most Powerful Names in Wine”, Decanter magazine, UK
- 2007 Inducted to New Zealand Wine Hall of Fame
- 2015 Best Technical Writer award, Australian Wine Communicators
- 2018 Fellow, Australian Society for Viticulture and Oenology