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Campbell Mattinson wins prestigious Saltram Wine Communicator award

Australian wine writer Campbell Mattinson has been named the Saltram Australian Wine Communicator 2006 for his book ‘The Wine Hunter’.

Mattinson won the inaugural 2004 Saltram Australian Wine Communicator Award. He received the latest award on Friday 16 February 2007 at the Wine Press Club of NSW Sydney Royal Wine Show Trophy Winners lunch, attended by 430 members of the Australian wine industry.

‘The Wine Hunter’ is a dramatised account of the life of Maurice O'Shea, a winemaker who toiled at a remote hillside vineyard in the Hunter Valley between 1921 and 1956. His estate was named Mount Pleasant, and he's now acknowledged as the first Australian winemaker to produce truly great wine. Some of these wines, 60 and 70 years on, still drink magnificently.

Mattinson picked up the award ahead of four other finalist entries – including one of his own: website www.winefront.com.au, and stories by wine writers; Jane Adams, Jeni Port and Nick Stock. Bestowing the award upon Mattinson, Saltram Senior Winemaker Nigel Dolan said it was closely contested, but in the end ‘The Wine Hunter’ was the unanimous stand out.

Dolan was one of four judges, along with Wine Press Club Patron and last year’s winner James Halliday, UK wine writer Jancis Robinson OBE MW and Wine Press Club of New South Wales President Darren Jahn.

‘The Wine Hunter’ has been described by James Halliday as "one of the most extraordinary wine books to come my way", and by Jancis Robinson as a book she enjoyed "immensely".

As the winner of the Saltram Australian Wine Communicator Award, Mattinson receives a generous $10,000 travel grant courtesy of Saltram Wine Estate and $1,000 spending money from the Wine Press Club of New South Wales.

"This award strikes a blow for good old fashioned storytelling," Mattinson said.

"And it's important that it does: the wine media keeps telling Australian wine producers that if they're to be taken more seriously on the world wine stage, they need to make more great wines. But there is an equal onus on Australia's wine writers to write better wine stories".



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