The 2019 Coonawarra Vignerons Cup was the setting to acknowledge the outstanding contributions made by Michelle Stehbens, Katnook’s Cellar Door Manager, to the Coonawarra Grape and Wine Incorporated (CGWI). Michelle was today inaugurated as a Patron of the Coonawarra Vignerons, along with Bruce Redman – an honour reserved for just seven individuals before them.
Pete Balnaves, President of the CGWI made the special presentation in front of 700 guests, saying: “The Vignerons have long felt the need to highlight outstanding contributions that individuals have made to the organisation and to Coonawarra over extended periods of time.
“Truly worthy of this accolade, Michelle epitomises a ‘can do’ attitude with little fuss and fan fair and demonstrating plenty of professionalism – a great ambassador for the Coonawarra Wine Region.”
In accepting the award, Michelle said: “I thank the CGWI for bestowing this honour upon me…a thank you must also go to Katnook Coonawarra, my employer for nearly 25 years, who supported my work for the Vignerons over this time.
“Coonawarra has been my home for over 37 years and I hope that both Wayne and I have contributed in some small way to the betterment of the Vignerons community and to the Coonawarra & Penola region. This recognition of that service is very much appreciated.”
This honour comes soon after another accolade, when Michelle was a finalist for the Cellar Door Manager of the Year award at the 2018 Australian Women in Wine Awards.
Michelle’s involvement with the CGWI started in March 1994, when she began as Katnook’s Cellar Door Manager. She has held many voluntary positions since then, including:
Coonawarra Vignerons Association (CVA) President 2008 – 2010;
CVA Vice President 2006 – 2008 & 2015 – 2018;
CVA and CGWI Board Member;
CVA and CGWI Committees
Cellar Door Events Committee – Chair & Committee member
Coonawarra Roadshow – Chair & Committee member
Penola District Business and Tourism Association Representative
Penola Coonawarra Arts Festival Representative.
Everyone at Katnook Coonawarra extends heartfelt congratulations to Michelle - an honour so richly deserved.