A Riverland woman has been charged with stealing funds from a not-for-profit wine organisation.
Sharon Tracey Nitschke, 52, appeared in the Berri Magistrates Court on Monday, charged with stealing $250,000 from the Riverland Vine Improvement Committee.
Court documents reveal the alleged offences occurred between December 2014 and December 2017, with the money being used to fund home renovations and other personal purchases such as jewellery.
Nitschke was an employee of the Riverland Vine Improvement Committee, which produces Cirami Estate wines.
The committee’s objectives are to identify clones with high health status and performance; promote and improve knowledge of new varieties; and produce and supply improved vine material to meet the changing requirements of the grape industry.
Magistrate Bob Harrap transferred the matter to the Adelaide Magistrates Court, where Nitschke will reappear in March.
Riverland Wine once described Nitschke as “a quiet achiever, hard worker and a lot of fun.”
“Sharon Nitschke has been in the wine game for many years, after purchasing a small fruit block with her husband David in the 80s,” it notes.
“When not ‘wine-ing at work’, Sharon is mum to three boys who are living in Mildura and Adelaide, ‘never a dull moment,’ she said. Something says there is nothing dull about Sharon Nitschke, and she is certainly doing her bit to make the Riverland wine region even more amazing.”