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Australian wine figures honoured

John Horgan has been appointed a Member of the order of Australia, the country’s third highest civilian honour.

The appointment was announced today in the annual Australian Day honours list.

Horgan co-founded the now-renowned Leeuwin Estate at Margaret River in the mid 1970s with his brother and now owner Dennis and the late Robert Mondavi.

Horgan, a chartered accountant, was taught winemaking by Mondavi in Napa and was managing director of Leeuwin for ten years until Dennis bought his and Mondavi’s shares.

Horgan also co-founded the Pemberton region where he now owns Salitage Wines.

Ken Helm, a former member of the board of the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia, was also honoured for his work in co-founding the Canberra region and his involvement in peak wine industry associations.

Helm was involved in 1996 in industry efforts to get the federal government to reduce the wholesale wine tax from 30 per cent to 18 per cent and in 2004 in obtaining for small winemakers a rebate on the 29% wine equalisation tax.

Helm owns Helm Wines at Murrumbateman and is widely known as a leading riesling producer and as founder and chairman of the Canberra International Riesling Challenge.

Michael Hill Smith MW of Shaw and Smith’s was appointed a Member of the order of Australia in 2008.

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Written by Chris Snow in Adelaide

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