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17/10/2008

Judges name world's best Riesling in Canberra International Challenge

Hessische Staatsweinguter GmbH Kloster Eberbach’s 1991 Rauenthaler Baiken Riesling Eiswein from the Rheingau in Germany has taken out the major award at the 2008 Canberra International Riesling Challenge by winning the trophy for producing the Best Riesling in the World. The winner from Australia and New Zealand was Peter Lehmann Wines, 2003 Peter Lehmann “Wigan” Eden Valley Riesling. This was judged in the final round for Best Riesling in the World. Announcing the winner, the chair of the judging panel, Yalumba’s Louisa Rose, described the winning wine as “A pristine wine with great freshness, age and complexity.” “This year’s entries were of a particularly high standard from across the world. The Southern Hemisphere, particularly Australia dominated the dry styles, with the Northern Hemisphere dominating the very sweet styles,” Rose said. Just announced as Gourmet Traveller Wine 2008 Winemaker of the Year, Rose will now retire after three years as chair of the judging panel. David O’Leary of O’Leary Walker Wines, in the Clare Valley, will commence his three-year term as chair next year. The other major award for the night, the Wolf Blass Award, was presented to Louisa Rose in recognition of her outstanding winemaking contribution and setting the highest standards in the development of Riesling in Australia. A record number of 512 entries competed in the 2008 Challenge which were judged for the first time in Australia by regions. Ken Helm, chairman of the Canberra International Riesling Challenge, said “Due to climate, geography, soil type, vine history and winemaking the wines from each region express unique qualities on a regional basis. It is important that we promote this.” The public will get their chance to sample some of the world’s finest Rieslings during the popular public tasting at the Hyatt, Canberra from 11am-3pm tomorrow, Saturday 18 October. Cost is $20 per person.

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