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South Burnett tipped as leader for Mediterranean style wines

After recently winning the trophy for 'Best Queensland Mediterranean wine style' at the RASQ 2008 Wine Show and Mediterranean Challenge with its 2005 White Label Shiraz Merlot Cabernet blend, Queensland producer Clovely Estate is proving that the South Burnett has the potential to be one of Australia’s premier Mediterranean varietal wine regions.

Clovely’s initial planting of Shiraz in 1997 was further complimented by the addition of Verdelho, Barbera, Grenache, Mourvedre, Nebbiolo and Sangiovese.

Clovely’s Chief Winemaker Luke Fitzpatrick said that although the most popular Mediterranean grape, Shiraz, grows well in many Australian regions, varieties such as Barbera and Verdelho have thrived in the South Burnett’s distinct climatic conditions.

Mean January temperature of 23.3oC, an average of nine sunshine hours a day and 740 mm of rainfall annually, stamp the South Burnett as a standout region in Australia for producing Mediterranean style wines.

Mr Fitzpatrick said prior to recently winning the RASQ trophy, Clovely’s Mediterranean wine styles had enjoyed a growing level of industry recognition around Australia.

“Both Clovely’s Reserve Verdelho and White Label Verdelho have won multiple awards at wine shows across the country — our 2006 Left Field Barbera won a gold medal at the Queensland Wine Awards and followed up with a silver at the Australian Small Winemakers Show.

“To cap it all off our first Sangiovese Rose won bronze at the RASQ 2008 Wine Show,” he said.

Mr Fitzpatrick remains passionate about the South Burnett’s future, adding that medal-winning success was not limited to the Mediterranean varieties.

He cited Clovely’s success in winning the trophy for Best Queensland Non-Mediterranean White at the RASQ 2008 Wine Show, with a 2003 bottle-aged Semillon.

Also on the national stage Clovely’s 2006 Estate Reserve Merlot received the outstanding rating of runner up from 35 wines across Australia in the $25–30 price range from the highly acclaimed Winestate magazine.

“These results, and the performance of other award-winning wines from the South Burnett, provide clear evidence that this young region continues to evolve, with both the traditional and Mediterranean varieties flourishing,” he said.

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