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Record entries for Queensland wine awards
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Keech said while many Australian producers were facing tough trading times, the Queensland wine industry was growing from strength to strength, according to a report on FarmOnline. "This has been a sensational year for the Queensland wine industry, with a record vintage crush, excellent wine quality and a record number of international gold medals," she said. "The industry's confidence in the quality of wines it is producing is reflected in the record number of entries in the prestigious 22nd Courier-Mail/Sofitel Hotel — Queensland Wine Awards. "There have been 380 entries from 72 Queensland wineries this year awards — up from 55 wineries and 303 wines last year." "The Queensland Wine Awards and associated events will provide the Queensland wine industry and general public with valuable knowledge and education on Queensland wines," she said. "The Beattie Government is determined to help the Queensland wine industry reach its full potential. "The Queensland Wine Awards incorporates a range of events including wine judging, the awards dinner, Queensland winemakers cluster and wine tasting events. "The winemakers cluster is a new initiative being coordinated by the Department of Tourism, Fair Trading and Wine Industry Development. It will focus on quality production techniques, technical innovations and will, importantly, provide an opportunity for local winemakers to network and mentor others. "Establishment of the cluster is another completed achievement from the Beattie Government's Wine Industry Development Strategy." Queensland Wine Awards chief judge is Iain Riggs, from Brokenwood winery in the Hunter Valley. Riggs is chairman of the Hunter Valley Wine Show and a regular senior show judge for capital city and international wine shows, including the Air New Zealand Wine Awards. "We are fortunate to have such an experienced judge leading this year's panel and local winemakers will certainly benefit from his winemaking knowledge and experience."