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RieslingFreak takes out five trophies

Riesling has been the star of the Show with an outstanding example from South Australia taking out five awards at the KPMG Sydney Royal Wine Show’s awards night held in Sydney this evening.

The 2017 RieslingFreak No.3 Clare Valley Riesling from John Hughes Wines was awarded the following accolades:

  •  The KPMG Perpetual Trophy for the Best Wine of Show.
  •  The Albert Chan Memorial Prize for Best White.
  •  The Douglas Lamb Perpetual Trophy for Best Riesling.
  •  The RAS of NSW Annual Prize for Best Young White.
  •  The Tucker Seabrook Perpetual Trophy for Best State Show Wine.

The prestigious Tucker Seabrook Trophy is awarded to the Exhibitor of the best wine entered at the seven major Capital City Wine Shows held around Australia within the previous twelve months, with each Show submitting their Wine of Show for a final round of judging at Sydney Royal. Over 17,000 wines have been distilled to reach this one standout exhibit.

It is extremely rare for one wine to take out so many awards at a Sydney Royal Wine Show and the last time a Riesling was awarded Best Wine of Show was in 2003.

South Australia born and bred RieslingFreak Head Winemaker John Hughes was excited that a smaller producer like RieslingFreak, only established in 2009, could claim so many accolades in such a prestigious competition as the KPMG Sydney Royal Wine Show.

“My love for Riesling comes from its variety and diversity, being able to go from sparkling to fortified and dry to sweet,” Mr Hughes said.

“We are fairly new in the game, but we are getting there,” he said.

The name RieslingFreak originated from John’s university days, his fellow students giving him that nickname because of his passion for Riesling.

John Hughes gained earlier national acclaim as a popular contestant on the 2011 series of MasterChef.

In all, 33 Trophies were awarded at the 2017 KPMG Sydney Wine Show following four days of intensive judging by a team of 31 wine experts. 

More than 2100 wines were entered from NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, the ACT and Tasmania by 352 exhibitors. Over 11,000 glasses of wine were poured by the battalion of stewards during the four days of judging.

Chair of Judges in 2017 Samantha Connew has praised both the quality and the variety of the wines presented to judges at this year’s KPMG Sydney Royal Wine Show;

“Across the board, the wines rewarded demonstrate the diversity of a dynamic Australian winemaking and winegrowing community which never rests on its laurels”, Ms Connew said.

“Riesling has a special place in the hearts of Australians as it was for many their very first venture into the world of wine decades ago and which is rightly celebrated not just for the vitality of youth but an amazing ability to age as well as reflecting a strong sense of site and place,” she said.

Sydney Royal Wine Committee Chair Sally Evans has thanked Ms Connew for the way she has conducted this year’s competition;

“But it is with great sadness that after 3 years at the helm, we say goodbye to Samantha, who has been a thoroughly excellent Chair of the Sydney Royal Wine Show.

“We couldn’t have asked for someone more committed and competent.

“She is so well respected by her peers, and year after year has delivered results with the highest levels of integrity and expertise. We are very grateful for her outstanding contribution to our Show,” Ms Evans said.

A total of 1212 medals were awarded to entries in the 2017 edition of the KPMG Sydney Royal Wine Show though fewer gold medals (6.9%) were awarded this year than in 2016 (7.6%).

Events culminate this Saturday July 29th with the grand finale, the Sydney Royal Wine Experience, where members of the public are invited and encouraged to taste the very same premium Australian wines the Judges assessed just last week.

Tickets for the Wine Experience are $80 per person, $150.00 for a double pass, with a discount for RAS Members.

Details of the Sydney Royal Wine Experience at the Sydney Showground can be found at;


AB Mauri



WID 2017