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Thistle Hill takes out coveted white wine trophy
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Thistle Hill Vineyard has cemented its place as one of Australia’s leading wine producers with a trophy in the open Chardonnay class in the Mudgee Wine and Grape Growers Association (MWGGA) annual wine show, held last Saturday night.
The long-time organic producer was awarded the trophy for its 2006 Chardonnay by a panel of judges in a highly competitive category.
Thistle Hill’s trophy win tops off a successful year for the label, after the 2006 Chardonnay also awarded a silver medal in the Australia/New Zealand Organic Wine Show, alongside the 2008 Riesling. The 2006 Chardonnay was also named in Max Allen’s top 30 Australian wines under $30 in The Weekend Australian.
Thistle Hill owner and manager, Lesley Robertson said she was delighted to win the trophy, saying it was especially sweet considering the tough competition in the region, with more than 35 cellar doors currently operating throughout the Mudgee region.
“When my husband David and I first planted our grapes in 1976, we were one of only a handful of grape growers and lots of people thought we were mad. It’s very exciting that we are still making award-winning wines 24 years later, amid still strong local competition,” she said.
“Despite much talk about a wine and grape glut throughout Australia, and a difficult financial market, we are seeing plenty of evidence that premium wine still has a secure place in the cellars of discerning wine drinkers the world over.”
“Not to mention the real value of sustainable viticulture practices and organic produce. And we can all drink to that,” she said.
Local industry member Carol Cook accepted the trophy on behalf of Lesley Robertson, who was overseas on business for the much-anticipated announcement.
Original founder of Thistle Hill and pioneer of organic viticulture, David Robertson was a well-known character in the local region. He is memorialised in the MWGG annual Dave Robertson trophy for the region’s best Cabernet Sauvignon, which was awarded this year to Gerald Norton-Knight for the 2006 vintage under his locally made Rosby label.
Lesley said she was doubly pleased to hear about Rosby’s success in the Cabernet Sauvignon class, saying it’s a special award that speaks volumes about the close-knit Mudgee community.
“Gerald Norton-Knight was a long-time friend of Dave’s and it’s so fitting that his trophy has gone to a vigneron who appreciates the importance of growing premium grapes to produce a premium wine,” she said.
“It’s also a testament to the strength of the region that both old and new growers are sharing in their success side by side.”