Scientific Expertise

We are a dedicated community of wine scientists with expertise in various fields including microbiology, biochemistry, oenology, molecular biology, and chemistry. Our team is passionate about advancing the science behind wine production and ensuring the highest quality standards.

Originally founded in the renowned Barossa Valley, our laboratory group has expanded its presence to encompass multiple locations across the country, strategically situated in prominent wine growing regions. This expansion allows us to serve a wider range of wineries and vineyards, bringing our precision-based expertise closer to those who need it most.

Portrait of a Scientist Using Micro Pipette for Analysis
At Winechek, our primary objective is to provide exceptional knowledge and insights backed by scientific research. We believe in the power of numbers and data, which enable us to deliver accurate and meaningful context to our clients. Our aim is to assist winemakers and industry professionals in making informed decisions that positively impact the quality and characteristics of their wines.
Whether you require in-depth microbiological analysis, comprehensive biochemistry evaluations, expert guidance on oenological practices, molecular biology insights, or advanced chemical testing, Winechek is your trusted partner. Our team of specialized wine scientists is committed to delivering precise and reliable results that help you optimize your winemaking processes.
Join us on this journey of scientific exploration and let Winechek be your go-to resource for cutting-edge wine analysis and consultancy services. Together, we can elevate the art and science of winemaking to new heights.

Our staff

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Dr Tertius Van Der Westhuizen

Managing director

Tertius Van Der Westhuizen has a long history in the Australian and South African Wine industry. Tertius received his PhD in microbiology at the University of Stellenbosch and was instrumental in the development of new wine yeast strains for the South African and world market. He was involved in fruit and wine research institutes in Stellenbosch before starting to work in the wine industry. In 2001 he moved to Australia as technical manager for Laffort and later became the managing director for Laffort Australia. Laboratory analysis has been a core focus throughout this period and the opportunity to grow a Laboratory group based in the major wine regions throughout Australia was a natural fit. Winechek laboratories has since expanded to 5 sites across Australia located in the Barossa Valley, Margaret River, Yarra Valley, Hunter Valley and Tasmania.

Dr Alana Seabrook


Dr Alana Seabrook has worked in the wine industry for the past 20 years in winemaking, wine research and application, wine microbiology, diagnostics and laboratory. After completing a winemaking degree through the University of Verona, Italy, she completed a PhD in wine microbiology at the University of Adelaide and went on to work in industry as Microbiologist and then R&D manager in an industry setting. Alana worked as the technical manager for Laffort Australia from 2017 to 2022, and has now taken on the role of Business development manager for Winechek. Alana is an active member in the Australian society for Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) and a current South Australian ASVO and AWITC director. You will find her in the lab, looking under a microscope and is experienced in troubleshooting any analytical or process challenges that come along.

Allison Fergusson

ANALYTICAL Laboratory Manager

Winechek Yarra Valley

Allison was born and raised in Adelaide, South Australia where she studied BSc (Hons), Organic, Inorganic, Physical Chemistry at Flinders University.

After fine tuning her deep understanding of the science world with over 10 years of research and technical equipment, procedures and integral setup positions, Allison relocated to WA for 11 years.  

Now the “stalwart” of Winechek for her 11th year in 2023, and with more than 20 years of wine industry knowledge and science experience, it is an honour to be able to work alongside and have full access to her skill set and capabilities.  Allison moved to the Yarra Valley in 2023 as Analytical laboratory manager. 

Ludmila Nascimento


Winechek Tasmania

Ludmila graduated with her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Salvador, Brazil. Before embarking on her journey to Australia, Ludmila worked as a chemical engineer research assistant, where she conducted scientific-technical tests and analysed the results using chromatographic techniques.

Ludmila’s passion continues to grow in the wine industry after arriving in Tasmania. After completing her laboratory studies, she has continued her career development as a vintage laboratory technician. After gaining more experience in her previous role, she is excited to be part of the Winechek team.

Dr Carly Gamble

TECHNICAL MANAGER/Laboratory Manager

Winechek Margaret River

Carly was born and raised in Melbourne, Victoria where she completed both undergraduate and post graduate studies in Biochemistry at Swinburne University.

After completing a number of postdoctoral research positions in Scotland and France, Carly relocated back to Australia and settled in the Margaret River region. Since living in WA, Carly has utilised her biochemistry skills within the wine industry to support local winemakers with their analysis requirements.

Carly is also the Winechek Technical Manager, working with our five laboratories across Australia to build on our analysis capabilities and ensure we offer the latest emerging technologies.

Dr Victoria Hughes

victoria state Manager

Winechek Yarra Valley

Victoria was born and raised in Wales in UK where she competed both undergraduate and post Graduate studies in Chemistry at the University of Wales, Swansea.

She made the move to Australia in 2008 and after 10 years in postdoctoral research positions in analytical and instrumental biochemistry, Victoria relocated to the Yarra Valley to open the regions first independent wine analysis laboratory. Now, in its 4th year of operation the lab is growing and expanding and Victoria is using her background in biochemistry and molecular biology to expand and improve the chemical and microbiological processes available. When she isn’t at the lab you will find her playing AFL with her local team (Go cougars) or at the beach.
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