Wine Communicators of Australia (WCA) is delighted to announce this year’s winner of the NSW Legend of the Vine, Clive Hartley.  Unfortunately, Clive was unable to accept the prestigious award in person at the WCA Sydney Royal Wine Show Awards Lunch, held today as he is overseas. 

A seasoned author, wine writer, sommelier, wine judge and professional wine educator, Clive Hartley has been a prominent figure in the Australian wine industry for more than twenty years. He was instrumental in the development of the wine education program at the Northern Sydney Institute, and in 2008 established The Sydney Wine Academy at Ryde College.

“The Legend of the Vine Award aims to recognise individuals who’ve made an outstanding contribution to the Australian wine industry, and Clive is incredibly deserving of this honour,” said WCA National Chair, Angus Barnes.

“His dedication to education – be that through his writing, the Sydney Wine Academy or his consultation work in the broader industry – has positioned him in high regard and Clive is seen as a mentor to many – from keen amateurs through to seasoned professionals.”

Clive played an integral role in introducing the Wine and Spirit Education Trust program at The Sydney Wine Academy and continues to champion the WSET Diploma in Wine and Spirits throughout the industry.  In 2011, the Sydney Wine Academy won the Riedel trophy and was named International Wine Educator of the Year.

Clive is an honorary life member of the Australian Sommeliers Association and has successfully completed a number of projects consulting to government bodies on wine related curriculum in Australia. His book, the Australian Wine Guide is now in its sixth edition and his contribution to the wine world has been recognised by Drinks Trade Magazine, which included this year’s winner in the list of the top 21 liquor identities in Australia over the last 21 years.


The Legend of the Vine Award was first introduced in New South Wales in 2011, and has since extended to Victoria and South Australia, with annual awards issued in each state. The nominees from each state are nominated by the WCA Board and State Chapters, with the final winner determined by the WCA National Board.

Clive is the seventh person to be awarded the Legend of the Vine status in NSW, and joins a prestigious national list that includes WCA Patron James Halliday, Kathleen Quealey, Roby Hirst, Patrick Iland, David Lowe, Phil Laffer, Chris Anstee, Ross Brown, Colin Campbell, Iain Riggs and Bill Hardy.