Hilltops Wines heralded at dual 2023 wine shows

Bryan Currie, winemaker at Hungerford Hill. Image courtesy Hilltops Wine

Making your mark at wine shows can be an elusive challenge for winemakers but those glittering medals do matter, even more so the ‘Best of Class’ trophies.

And there is plenty that sparkles for happy Hilltops vignerons and winemakers from the recent NSW Wine Awards 2023 and the Canberra & Region Wine Show 2023.

The judges at the Canberra & Region Wine Show awarded eight trophies, 11 Gold Medals and 15 Silver Medals to Hilltops GI wines.

This year’s Canberra Show results are the region’s best ever according to Hilltops Wine president, Brian Mullany, Grove Estate.

“These accolades endorse both the foresight and commitment of Hilltops vignerons and other region’s winemakers who increasingly are sourcing top quality grapes from our vineyards,” said Mullany.

“For such a small region to score eight trophies ranging across widely diverse classes from Dry White Varieties and Blends, to Rosé, Sangiovese, Tempranillo and Shiraz posts notice that the NSW Hilltops is evolving to one of Australia’s most exciting wine regions.”

The Hilltops is focused around the town of Young, where vines thrive on elevated rolling hills (approx. 500m) supported by red granitic loam soils, good water supplies and even ripening, extended autumn seasons.

The Canberra & Region Hilltops GI trophy winners include Grove Estate and Moppity Vineyards, Hilltops Associate Hungerford Hill, and Mada Wines.

Moppity Vineyards was the top performer at the Canberra & Region Show scoring three trophies alone for Moppity Lock & Key Shiraz 2022 winner of the highly contested Shiraz Trophy.

“We’ve had a long-held belief that our Hilltops vineyard is capable of producing truly world class Shiraz that is not only enjoyable in its youth but increasingly captivating as it ages. We also aim to reflect the site in our wines so that our unique place is clearly recognisable, regardless of vintage,” said Moppity proprietor, Jason Brown.


Jason and Alecia Brown at Canberra & Region Wine Show. Image courtesy Hilltops Wine


At the NSW Wine Awards the judges were attracted by the Mada Blanc 2023, winner of the Best White Blend Trophy.

Its maker Hamish Young is a strong advocate for the Hilltops region.

“The Hilltops is such an exciting and diverse viticultural area and the passionate growers are producing such incredible quality grapes, a terrific asset for winemakers seeking to make prestige wines.”

The Mada Blanc is a multiple white blend sourced from Freeman Vineyards, while Mada Nebbiolo Rosé originates from Grove Estate.

Bryan Currie, winemaker at Hungerford Hill, is also excited, especially about the quality of Hilltops Tempranillo and Graciano grapes.


“There is a pristine flavour intensity and balance in these grapes that need little winemaking intervention to show their delicious true character. It’s such an inspiring region!” said Currie.

Hilltops trophy-winning wines at the 2023 Canberra & Regional Wine Show include:

  • Hungerford Hill Fiano 2023
  • Mada Wines Nebbiolo Rosé 2023
  • Grove Estate Sangiovese 2022
  • Hungerford Hill Tempranillo 2022
  • Moppity Vineyards Lock & Key Shiraz 2022


Moppity Vineyards also received the Wines of Provenance Trophy for three vintages of its Reserve Shiraz (2009, 2015, 2022), and the Most Successful Exhibitor Trophy.


NSW Wine Awards 2023 Hilltops region Gold Medal Wines:

  • Collector 2022 Cherry Orchard Shiraz
  • De Iuliis Wines 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Hungerford Hill 2022 Tempranillo Graciano
  • Lark Hill Winery 2023 ‘Regional’ Riesling
  • Moppity Vineyards 2022 Lock & Key Shiraz
  • Mada Wines 2023 Blanc
  • Mercer Wines 2022 Joven Tempranillo


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