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Margaret River winemaker is Young Winemaker of the Year
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In a victory for members of the fairer sex, Jane Donat of Petersons Winery in the Hunter Valley, won the Members’ Choice Award. "Winning the award as The Wine Society Young Winemaker of the Year is a tremendous honour," said Kramer, who in 2001 won the Margaret River Wine Industry Association Career Opportunities Award. Asked if she thought that wines from Australia had some way to go to match those overseas — she has worked in the wine industry in both the United States and Europe — she said: "I believe Australian wines are right up there with the best in the world and they can only get better." Mark Purbrick, the CEO of The Wine Society, paid tribute to Kramer and Donat as well as the other eight finalists. “The skills of all 10 finalists are such that there is absolutely no doubt that the future of the Australian winemaking industry is in very good hands. “It is for this reason that each year we hold The Wine Society Young Winemaker of the Year Award. “Our aim is to recognise and reward the passion and the talent of the best and brightest of the young winemakers in this country,” he said. The other eight finalists were: Emma Wood, Seppelt’s Great Western winery in Victoria Daren Owers, Nugan Estate in Riverina, New South Wales Jessica Irving, Miranda Wines in the Riverina, New South Wales Bryan Currie, Westend Estate in the Riverina, New South Wales Michael de Iuliis, De Iuliis Wines in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales Daniel Binet of Capercaillie in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales Robert Mann, BRL Hardy’s Tintara Winery in McLaren Vale, South Australia Renae Hirsch, Bleasdale Vineyards, Langhorne Creek, South Australia Each of the finalists' best wines were judged under strict show judging conditions by a panel of wine industry icons to determine the winner. This year’s panel consisted of Phillip John (chief winemaker at Hungerford Hill Wines, Michael Hill Smith of Shaw & Smith (chairman of the Adelaide Wine Show, and Australia’s first Master of Wine, Tim Knappstein (Lenswood Vineyards,Dr Tony Jordan (CEO and winemaker of Domaine Chandon).
The winner of theconsumer award was chosen by attendees at a series of Members’ Choice dinners held throughout Australia in the lead-up to the award dinner. At these dinners, members of The Wine Society blind-tasted the 20 wines made by the 10 finalists for this year’s award. They then cast their votes for their favourite wines and the results of votes from these blind tastings were collated to determine the winner of The Wine Society Young Winemaker of the Year Members’ Choice Trophy for 2005 – Jane Donat. This award was presented for the first time last year and the winner of the inaugural Members’ Choice Trophy was Daren Owers of Nugan Estate who was one of the finalists this year as well. The Wine Society Young Winemaker of the Year Award is open only to winemakers aged 30 years or less. Previous winners of the award are:
Matt Gant of St Hallett Wines (2004) Briony Hoare of Rosemount Estate (2003) Oliver Crawford of Penfolds Wines (2002) Adrian Lockhart of Briar Ridge (inaugural winner in 2001)