Wendy Stuckey and Jeff Sinnott appointed to the Research Advisory Committee .


Two new appointments have been made to the New Zealand Winegrowers appointed Research Advisory Committee (RAC).

The RAC provides advice and recommendations to the Bragato Research Institute (BRI) Board on the merit and relative priority of proposed new research. This is a critical role to ensure that research aligns with industry needs and industry priorities and will lead to industry benefit.  The committee also considers the quality of science proposed, approach, and considers how proposed work fits with other previous or current work and what’s already known in the international literature.

To enable a degree of continuity within the RAC, it was agreed at the end of 2019 to increase the size of the committee from 9 to 11. The additional committee seats have been filled by Wendy Stuckey and Jeff Sinnott. The Committee includes 2 NZW Board Members plus 9 committee members with staggered 3-year terms. Read more about Wendy and Jeff below.

Committee members are appointed for their technical skills, knowledge and expertise. Consideration is given to ensure a balance of viticulture and winemaking expertise, regional experience and networks, and diversity considerations.

The 2020 RAC membership is:

  • Dominic Pecchenino (Chair) NZW Board Member
  • Patrick Materman (Deputy) NZW Board Member
  • Bart Arnst
  • Doug Bell
  • Dr Marilyn Duxson
  • Jonathan Hamlet
  • Allan Johnson
  • Jeff Sinnott
  • Heath Stafford
  • Wendy Stuckey
  • Melissa Tripe

Expressions of interest will be sought in Spring 2020 for members wanting to be considered for appointment to the Research Advisory Committee in 2021.

Wendy Stuckey

Wendy Stuckey located to Marlborough in 2015, joining the team at Spy Valley as Chief Winemaker in July 2019.

Originally from South Australia, Wendy first trained as a radiographer before deciding to switch careers and enrol at Roseworthy Agricultural College to learn about wine. Since then Wendy has gone on to work at Constellation Brands New Zealand , Chateau Ste. Michelle in Washington State and  for18 years in the Barossa Valley region of Australia, including several years at Wolf Blass where she was responsible for some of the company’s iconic white wines.

Whilst working in the US Wendy was named as one of the Top Most Admired Winemakers in the North American wine industry and included in intowine.com’s Top 100 Most Influential US Winemakers. She is also an experienced wine judge.

Wendy is excited to be join the RAC providing support to those projects that help shape and improve the future of our industry.

Jeff Sinnott

Jeff Sinnott has been involved in the wine industry since training as sommelier in 1985.  After working various roles within the wine industry Jeff went on to study Viticulture at the University of Adelaide graduating with honours in 1992.

Jeff has worked in education, training & research with EIT Tairawhiti, in commercial viticulture & winemaking in Gisborne, Marlborough, Central Otago and Waipara and is a founding partner in his family’s vineyards in the Waitaki Valley.  He has spent the past 2 decades sharing his skills, experience and knowledge consulting to clients in different facets of the wine businesses.  He is a founding member of the Tuku Māori Winemakers Collective and is the current president of the New Zealand Society for Viticulture & Oenology.