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Rising Margaret River star takes out 2008 Blue Gold and top 100

Rising Margaret River star Chalice Bridge has finished the year with a top 100 listing and Blue Gold Award in the 2008 Sydney International Wine Competition for its 2007 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc.

The SIWC’s annual Blue Gold awards are highly regarded because they depart from wine judging tradition by matching food dishes with the wine for the assessment process. The 2008 challenge attracted a record 532 entries from 12 countries including Italy, France, US, Chile, Argentina, South Africa and New Zealand.

Chalice Bridge was set up in 1998 by Perth businessman Rob Edinger to fulfill a long-standing passion for wine. Rob spent two years looking for the right patch of terroir, deciding on a site at Rosa Glen on the southern reaches of WA's Margaret River wine growing region, where cooler ocean winds and a later harvesting period allows for greater intensity and complexity in the Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes thriving there.

Rob's aim was always to develop a world-class product, drawing on the winery's premier location and a commitment to quality in the growing and production process.

His decision five years ago to focus on the export market, beginning with the US then expanding to Europe and Asia, enabled Chalice Bridge to generate a good return at a time when the domestic wine glut was forcing margins down.

Chalice Bridge's fortunes took a turn for the better two years ago when Rob heard that one of Australia's most respected wine makers had left neighbouring Leeuwin Estate Winery and invited him across to the Rosa Glen slopes.

Bob Cartwright is now in his third vintage for Chalice Bridge, and considers the SIWC-winning 2007 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc one of his best. It has also scored 94 points in James Halliday’s just-released National Top 100 and picked up silvers in the 2007 National Cool Climate Wine Show at Bathurst and the Macquarie Bank-sponsored 2007 Margaret River Wine Show.

Bob’s first Chardonnay at Chalice Bridge — the 2006 vintage — also struck gold, receiving 4 stars and a top in category rating at this year’s Winestate magazine awards and scoring a silver medal in the recent 2007 Sheraton Wine Awards

Rob Edinger sees a bright future for Chalice Bridge: "With 122 hectares under vine we are now one of the largest producers in Margaret River and are ideally poised to capitalise on the grape shortage arising from the drought affected regions over east.”



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