RUTHERGLEN is mourning a true wine legend.
Colin Campbell OAM died peacefully at his Rutherglen home on Friday, aged 73.
His daughter Susie Campbell said her father was a visionary leader in the wine industry and a devoted family man.
"He was an inspirational leader and he always had the region in mind; he worked for the greater good for Rutherglen," she said.
"He was visionary and he always saw the big picture."
Ms Campbell said her father's life-long passion was to see Rutherglen muscat recognised worldwide as the unique wine of Australia.
He founded the Muscat of Rutherglen Network, which devised a classification system in 1998 now used Australia-wide. He also led the way repackaging muscat and topaque in clear glass.
"His passion was Rutherglen muscat," Ms Campbell said.
"The ultimate for Dad was the perfect score of 100/100 for Campbells Rare Rutherglen Muscat, the Merchant Prince."
It was the first wine in Australia's history to be awarded a perfect score by wine columnist Harvey Steiman, of the world's authoritative New York-based Wine Spectator magazine.
Born at Rutherglen, Colin Bruce Campbell studied winemaking at Roseworthy in South Australia in 1967.
As a fourth-generation winemaker, Mr Campbell pioneered a new age for white wines in the Rutherglen district by rapidly expanding Campbells' fermentation cellar.
He launched his widely-acclaimed label, Bobby Burns Shiraz, during 1970.
His outstanding achievements were celebrated alongside winemakers Wolf Blass and John Angove.
Mr Campbell was named the inaugural Victorian Legend of the Vine in 2014.
Having worked side-by-side his viticulturist brother Malcolm for almost 50 years, the pair was honoured in 1995 with the Victorian Wine Industry Association Distinguished Services Award.
Mr Campbell was instrumental in founding the Winemakers of Rutherglen.
Ms Campbell said her father was a doting dad and grandfather.
"He was a man of few words but always such wise words," she said.
Mr Campbell is survived by his wife Prue, daughters Jane, Susie and Julie, their partners Charlie, Paul and Cam, and grandchildren Caroline, Angus, William and Louis.
A funeral service will be held at Campbell Wines on Friday at 11am.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Border Cancer Centre would be appreciated.
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