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20/10/2014

NZ wine wins top award at Canberra International Riesling Challenge

The top award at the 15th annual Canberra International Riesling Challenge has been won by Accolade Wine’s Mud House Estate from the Canterbury/Waipara region of New Zealand with its 2013 The Mound Vineyard Waipara Valley Riesling.

Rieslings from nine countries including Australia, New Zealand, the US, Germany, France, South Africa, Czech Republic, Austria and Canada were judged for excellence at this year’s Challenge, held at Albert Hall in Canberra last week.

Seven judges and three associate judges tasted more than 500 wines to find the best drops across a number of styles.

Chairman of judges in 2014 was John Belsham from Foxes Island Wines in New Zealand – an international winemaker, businessman, consultant and critic with 35 years of wine industry experience.

“It has been an honour and my absolute pleasure to chair the judging panel for the 2014 Canberra International Riesling Challenge," Belsham said.

“This competition is devoted to the promotion of Riesling and I applaud the organiser’s foresight in developing this outstanding competition and for attracting such an impressive number of entries from around the globe.

"Riesling when in the correct hands delivers the most diverse range of premium white wines of any other white varietal.

"This year’s competition has once again verified Riesling as the undisputed 'Princess Chameleon' of white wines.”

Chairman of the Riesling Challenge, Ken Helm, said this year’s Challenge was the most successful of the 14 events due to the enormous support from the nine major Riesling producing countries, the calibre of the judges and the high profile the event has accrued during the past 14 years.

“This has attracted some of the highest quality wines we have seen in the event to date,” he commented.

Australian entries that received gold or silver awards will have automatic entry qualification to the 2015 National Wine Show – a new initiative by the 2014 Riesling Challenge.

As part of the Challenge, The Wolf Blass Award is presented biennially to a person or organisation in Australia or New Zealand who has made a major contribution to Riesling development and promotion.

This year the award went to Colin Gramp AM for his contribution to innovative pressure/cold fermentation of Riesling, long service to the Adelaide Wine Show, Australian Wine Board, Roseworthy College, Australian Wine Research Institute and his lifetime love of Riesling.

The winner of the 2014 Encouragement Award was Phil Scott, assistant winemaker at Capital Wines. Scott was selected from 35 nominees who submitted a total of 60 wines to this year’s Challenge.

"The Challenge is continuing to grow through fantastic support from our sponsors, in particular our Foundation Sponsors and we look forward to their continuing support," Helm said.

For full results visit www.rieslingchallenge.com

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