Australian wineries vie for top honours at Australian Small Winemakers Show

National trophies recognising the skill and excellence of small wine producers have been awarded at the 2019 Australian Small Winemakers Show.

In a tussle between states, wineries in South Australia (SA) and Western Australia (WA) each secured three trophies.

Leading the charge with the trophy for Champion Small Winery of Show was Mandoon Estate, Swan Valley, WA. This is a repeat performance for Mandoon Estate who won this same title in 2016.

Berrigan Wines, Mount Benson, SA was awarded the Dick De Luca Memorial Trophy for Champion Shiraz for their 2018 Shiraz.

In his first year as chair of judges, Nick Bulleid noted the high quality of wines across all Shiraz classes, in a range of styles from full-bodied traditional styles to medium-bodied fragrant styles.

Purple Hands Wines in SA’s Barossa Valley added another trophy for the state, winning the Preben Jabcobsen Stewards Choice with its 2018 Grenache.

“The class of Grenache wines ranged from weighty to supple, with several beautiful wines,” Bulleid said.

The trophy for Champion Red Wine of Show was awarded to Lake Breeze Wines from Langhorne Creek, for the 2016 Arthur’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

There was a strong showing of medal-winning wines across all classes of Cabernet Sauvignon, leading Bulleid to ponder if this was the start of a resurgence of this once preeminent variety.

Gilbert Family Wines, from Mudgee, NSW, received the Champion White Wine of Show for the 2012 GbySG Riesling.

The 2018 Yelverton Reserve Chardonnay by Forrester Estate, from Margaret River, was awarded the trophy for Champion Chardonnay of Show.

Champion Sparkling Wine of Show was awarded to Saracen Estates, also from Margaret River, for their 2010 Maree Chardonnay Pinot Noir.

The judges noted the high quality of sparkling wines across a range of styles, and particularly the richness of the trophy winner.

Stanton and Killeen Wines, from Rutherglen, VIC, received the trophy for Champion for the NV Rare Rutherglen Muscat.

St Joseph’s School, Stanthorpe, in the Granite Belt, QLD, was awarded Champion School Produced Wine for their 2019 rosé, receiving special mention from Bulleid as one of the beautiful rosés of the show.

The skill and excellence of the individuals behind the trophy-winning wines was recognised in the travel awards for Champion Viticulturist and Champion Winemaker.

Greg Follet of Lake Breeze Wines was crowned Champion Winemaker, whilst Simon Gilbert of Gilbert Family Wines was crowned Champion Viticulturist.

Each will receive a cash prize from the Australian Small Winemakers Show for travel to further their technical knowledge and skill.

Speaking at the gala presentation dinner for the presentation of trophies, Bullied commented on the innovation of small winemakers with emerging white and red grape varieties, noting the judges were stunned by wines of Nero D’Avola, Aglianico and Montepuliciano.

The Australian Small Winemakers Show has continued to foster the innovation of small wine producers by expanding the single variety classes to now include Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Barbera, Vermentino, Gruner Veltliner and Fiano.

The Australian Small Winemakers Show is the national show for wineries crushing less than 500 tonne a year. In 2019, which again hosted a strong showing of entries from all states of Australia.