Local News at Your Fingertips

Top honours for Coonawarra winemaker

Coonawarra winemaker, Sue Bell (Bellwether Wines) has received one of the industry’s top honours, with the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology naming her Winemaker of the Year at a gala Awards for Excellence dinner in Adelaide. The ASVO Winemaker of the Year Award aims to recognise a winemaker who demonstrates technical mastery over various aspects of winemaking. ASVO newly-appointed president, Dr Mardi Longbottom, says the accolade acknowledges Sue’s enthusiasm, community involvement, leadership and passionate advocacy of women in wine.

“It also acknowledges Sue’s commitment to honouring the classics in cool climate Australia and trialing new grape varieties that are suited to dry regions, such as Nero d’Avola and Vermentino,” says Dr Longbottom. “These have been well received, winning awards and establishing a model for new thinking as the industry prepares for the impact of climate change.”

Judge Wendy Cameron described Sue’s role in the industry as inspirational. “She has shown how much can be achieved with passion and commitment even without much financial backup,” she said. “I think the mix of industry and community is really needed.”

Fellow judge, Paul Henscke, said Sue’s popularity lies in a particular combination of important qualities and strong leadership skills, which are viewed with credibility. “Bell’s contribution is likely to benefit a significant group of industry people in strong need of new direction,” he said.

Sue was senior winemaker at Stonehaven, Padthaway, before making the bold leap to establishing her own label, Bellwether Wines, in 2009. She now produces award-winning wines at the historic Glen Roy Woolshed for herself and other growers.

“It’s very basic style winemaking; I’m essentially working out of a shed compared to what I’ve had in the past, relying on my palate and very small, high quality parcels of fruit,” she explains. “Going out on your own is tough – you can’t do it without the generosity and support of your community, which Coonawarra has in spades. I would particularly like to acknowledge the Redmans, Pete Weinberg, Bill Brand and the staff at Brands, along with my mum and business partner who have shown extraordinary faith in me.”

Prominent Riverland grape grower Ashley Radcliffe, from Ricca Terra farms, is among Sue’s valued suppliers, and nominated Sue for the award.

“I’m very grateful to him – and very fortunate to work with some amazing people who grow great fruit in the Riverland, Coonawarra, Tasmania, Wrattonbully, and Heathcote,” Sue says.

Coonawarra viticulturist Ben Harris, who works for Wynn’s Coonawarra Estate, finished runner up to Pyrenees viticulturist Matthew Bailey in the ASVO Viticulturist of the Year Award.

ASVO was established in 1980 to encourage exchange of technical information in the wine industry. It runs seminars, co-hosts the triennial Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference with the AWRI, and publishes the world’s highest ranked, peer-reviewed viticulture and wine scientific journal, the Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research.

For more information, please contact Sue Bell 0417 080 945 or Dr Mardi Longbottom 08 83136834.

Medical Clinic Millicent launches new obstetric care clinic for women


by S Lowe for 5THE FM newsonline wattlerangenow

In light of diminishing services available to pregnant women in the region since the closure of Obstetric Services at the Millicent Hospital mid 2013 by Country Health SA, the Medical Clinic Millicent has picked up the obstetric ball and run with it; launching a new service in the form of a specialised Midwifery Clinic. It will be a Medicare bulk-billed service and will be available on Mondays on a fortnightly basis from the beginning of July this year.
Medical Clinic Senior Partner Dr James Bushell said, “We are excited about strengthening obstetric care in our community and the opportunity to partner with Midwife Anna Wilson in the new clinic will provide a convenient option for women in the region. ”
Dr Bushell will celebrate 18 years at the Millicent Clinic this year and continues to seek ways to improve obstetric care for patients in the region.
“The Shared Care model we are offering provides new obstetric care options for pregnant women with un-complicated pregnancies; receiving their care from an Obstetrician/GP, and a Registered Midwife.”
“It would have been a shame for Anna if she had been unable to continue using her skills. The new Midwifery Clinic provides the opportunity for her to support patients in a service she is clearly passionate about. It will also mean women can be seen more regularly. Sometimes it can be a long wait for an appointment with me.”
“We will begin with fortnightly clinics but if the need is there we will move to weekly.”
Dr Bushell now shares his time between the Medical Clinic, the Millicent Hospital on-call roster and Obstetric Services at the Mt Gambier Hospital since the closure of Obstetric Service’s at the Millicent Hospital doesn’t allow him to deliver in the local hospital. Women still have the option of returning to Millicent Hospital after their delivery for post natal care.
Anna is a Registered Nurse of 7 years and Mid-Wife of 4 years. She joined the Medical Clinic 2011, and worked at the Millicent Hospital from 2011 until recently. Anna no longer works at the Millicent Hospital but is a Community Midwife in Bordertown and is now employed by the Medical Clinic Millicent.
“The new Midwifery Clinic will offer ante-natal and post-natal care, including general pregnancy education, and breastfeeding support according to the World Health Organisation breastfeeding criteria,” she said.
“If the patient needs further attention, I can liaise with Dr Bushel for information and if needed I can make an appointment directly with him. This collaborative arrangement is a more complete and convenient option of care for the women in the region.”
“We will be seeing low-risk women and following them through all aspects of their pregnancy so that they have the continuation of support from their early pregnancy right though to delivery.”
“Most routine pregnancy checks will be carried out in the Midwifery Clinic, providing women with education and support
“The new Clinic will also free up Dr Bushell to see more women with specific needs”
“Dr Bushell is our only Obstetrician at the Medical Clinic at this time, and the new Midwifery Clinic will improve all aspects of women’s care; we will be able to see them more quickly and there will be less travel for women in the surrounding region with this service offered in Millicent now, instead of them having to travel to Mt Gambier.”
“I think some women like to have a woman to speak to during their pregnancy, as well as their doctor, and I am looking forward to this aspect of patient care too,” said Anna.
Anna plans to become an Eligible Midwife and will apply for her Medicare provider number by the end of the year. All Midwives can provide midwifery continuity of care, or to work in private practice. In addition, an Eligible Midwife can order ultrasound scans and some pathology tests that may be required during pregnancy and early parenting, and can refer women and babies directly to medical practitioners. Anna’s additional qualifications will mean increased  services available to patients, at the Midwifery Clinic, in the future.
Midwife Jill Little’s duties at the Medical Clinic will include supporting Anna in the new Midwifery Clinic.
Appointments can be made at Reception at the Medical Clinic Millicent and the service is available to all women needing ante-natal and post natal care and advice.
“This service will certainly help me and we will be offering a more comprehensive obstetric care this way. The only thing we can’t do really – is deliver!” said Dr Bushell