Our people


National EcoVineyards Program Manager

Dr Mary Retallack

BAppSc., PGradDip (NRM), BEd., GradDip (Viti), PCert. (Arb), PhD (Viti/PlantProt), CPAg, MAIA, GAICD, ARLF

Mary co-founded and manages the National  EcoVineyards Program. Mary is also the Managing Director of Retallack Viticulture Pty Ltd which offers a broad range of agribusiness and agroecological consulting services throughout Australia and overseas.

As an experienced agricultural scientist, agroecologist and third-generation viticulturist, Mary brings a wide range of skills and experience from practical, research, teaching, and consultancy roles and is recognised internationally as a Certified Practising Agriculturist (CPAg).

Mary has a PhD in viticulture and plant protection and associated tertiary qualifications in conservation and park management, natural resource management, adult education, and arbitration. Mary is a recognised leader in the field of functional biodiversity enhancement. She recently finished PhD studies in this area with a focus on the role of native insectary ground cover plants and measurement of their functional biodiversity benefits by assessing the predatory arthropods found in association. She is also an adult education extension specialist with tertiary qualifications in education.

Mary has published broadly on the topics of native ground cover species and functional biodiversity enhancement in vineyards with 24 recent publications produced over the past three years, and numerous public speaking engagements both in Australia and internationally. Recent examples include: 21st GiESCO International Meeting (Group of international Experts for Cooperation on Vitivinicultural Systems) in Thessaloniki Greece; the 42nd Congress of Vine and Wine, International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) in Geneva, Switzerland; the 18th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference in Adelaide, South Australia; and the Bragato Research Institute Grape Day webinar presentation in 2020.

She is also a member of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) Viticulture Commission, Enviro and Protec groups, and The Australian and New Zealand Grapegrower and Winemaker Journal Editorial Panel.

Mary’s leadership and excellence in science have been acknowledged via inclusion in The Australian inaugural list of 100 Green Power Players 2022, Gourmet Traveller WINE Len Evans Award for Leadership 2020, National Farmers’ Federation inaugural Diversity in Agriculture Leadership program 2018, Businesswomen’s Hall of Fame 2017, Emerald Grain’s list of 100 Women in Australian Agribusiness 2014, RIRDC Rural Women’s Award (national winner) 2012.

Mary is an ambassador for PIRSA’s Women Influencing Agribusiness and Regions, and Great Wine Capitals Knowledge Exchange initiatives. She is a Stepping into Leadership program and Drought Resilience Leaders Mentoring Program mentor. She lives on a small vineyard and apple orchard in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia.

Executive Assistant

Nikki Zorzi

Retallack Viticulture welcomes Nikki Zorzi in a new Executive Assistant role. Nikki is working closely with Dr Mary Retallack to roll out the National EcoVineyards Program in partnership with Wine Australia over the next three-years.

Many of you will know Nikki from her previous roles with Australian Grape and Wine, Australian Vignerons, and Wine Grape Growers Australia. We are lucky to have her in this role.

Nikki brings a wealth of experience and a passion for program management. Which has been gained from overseeing a diverse range of national initiatives aimed at supporting wine grape growers over the past decade.

She has forged deep, collaborative relationships with wine growers, winemakers, and industry professionals – relationships which she intends to extend in this new role.

Nikki also takes the opportunity to initiate conversations about mental health and overall wellbeing especially in regionally based workforces, and ensures this important issue continues to be addressed in our wine community.

A passion for travel has given Nikki an adaptable approach to life, and she shares that “sometimes rolling with changing situations rather than following a pre-determined route can often reveal unexpected and amazing experiences.”

Nikki welcomes you to connect with her at [email protected] and looks forward to contributing to the National EcoVineyards Program.