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Calling all Shiraz producers

Entries for this year’s Visy Great Australian Shiraz Challenge close Friday 1 September.

Chairman of the Challenge, Alister Purbrick is delighted with the entries to date, numbering in excess of 300.

“We are well on the way to breaking last year’s record of 323 entries as it is always in the final week when we receive a large number of submissions,” he said.

The Challenge came about when the winemakers of the Nagambie Lakes region, with a 140 year history of producing Shiraz, decided in 1995 to lay down a challenge to determine the nation’s best Shiraz producers. Now in its 12th year, the prestigious trophy has become one of Australia’s most sought after awards – highly prized by all makers of Australia’s quintessential red wine and this year offering prizes worth over $50,000.

Entry criteria require that all wine must be commercially available, labelled and on sale in at least one retail, cellar door or mail order “outlet”. The wines must be labelled Shiraz and no vintage restrictions apply.

This year’s panel of judges are Stephen Henschke, John Duval, Geoff Merrill and James Halliday. The winning wines will be announced at a superb black-tie dinner being held in Melbourne on Friday, October 27 at the Park Hyatt. Guests to the dinner not only enjoy the experience of the evening but also have the opportunity to win a $12,500 diamond courtesy of Precious Metals — Garry Holloway Diamonds.

The Visy Board 2006 Great Australian Shiraz Challenge is proudly supported by ASA Cork, Star Track Express, Labelhouse Pty Ltd, Winetitles, Michael Major Media, Seguin Moreau, Schott Zwiesel, Park Hyatt Melbourne, Precious Metals Garry Holloway Diamonds, Map Coffee, Yarra Valley Spring Water and Sisley Paris.

For information on the awards call Carol McLean on (03) 5736 2438. For dinner and media enquiries call Lizzie Brown on (03) 9866 2293 or 0418 586 521.

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