JOE Zekulich, one of the Swan Valley's most respected vignerons, died last week aged 107.
The Swan Valley may have been a different place today had it not been for Mr Zekulich’s innovation in growing nematode-resistant vines.
Swan Valley and Regional Winemakers Association recognise him as one of the six inaugural Icons of the Swan Valley and he was also inducted into the Royal Agricultural Society Hall of Fame.
His innovative viticultural research came at a time when there were no government scientists or research stations to overcome production problems.
A spokesman for the Swan Valley and Regional Winemakers Association said Mr Zekulich’s contribution to the wine industry in the Swan Valley was immense.
‘The work Joe did with nematode-resistant vine rootstocks had a major impact on the health and success of the industry in Western Australia,’ he said.
‘He was a true gentleman and played a major role in helping migrants who came to the Swan Valley seeking a new life after World War II.
‘He will be remembered as a quiet achiever who loved the land and life in the Swan Valley’