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Margaret River winemaker is Young Winemaker of the Year

Amanda Kramer, of Wise Wine in the Margaret River, has been named as the winner of The Wine Society Young Winemaker of the Year Award. The award was presented in Sydney at a black-tie dinner that attracted some 500 Wine Society members and wine lovers. 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 the United States and Europe — Amanda 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 saying: “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 of The Wine Society Young Winemaker of the Year Award for 2005. This year’s panel consisted of: Phillip John – who has been chief winemaker at Hungerford Hill Wines since 2002 after making a name for himself as an award-winning winemaker at Lindemans where he helped make the Bin 65 Chardonnay the biggest-selling imported wine in the United States Michael Hill Smith of Shaw & Smith – who is chairman of the Adelaide Wine Show and who holds the honour of being Australia’s first Master of Wine (there are only 15 Masters of Wine in Australia) Tim Knappstein, Lenswood Vineyards – since graduating as Dux of the Roseworthy oenology course in 1966, Knappstein became one of Australia’s legendary winemakers. His wines have won over 500 show awards and over 160 trophies and gold medals Dr Tony Jordan of Domaine Chandon – is the CEO and winemaker of Domaine Chandon — owned by Moet & Chandon, the world’s largest Champagne house MEMBERS’ CHOICE AWARD The winner of the Members' Choice 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 Young Winemaker 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, which is now in its fifth year, 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 (the inaugural winner in 2001)

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