Northern Victorian winery wins two new categories in Australian Organic Wine Industry Awards

Matt Purbrick, Head Winemaker, Minimum Wines. Image courtesy Australian Organic Limited

Toolamba-based Minimum Wines, located in the heart of the agriculturally rich Goulburn Valley, claimed two new Award categories out of a record field of 238 bottles of wine at the 2021 Australian Organic Wine Industry Awards.

The certified organic winery collected the Best Park Wine Award and a Silver Medal (Top of Class) for its 2021 Hailstorm Special Pet Nat made from a blend of Sangiovese and Chardonnay grapes and the Best Left of Centre Wine Award for The Colossus of Harry, a 2020 skin contact Sauvignon Blanc that also took home a Gold Medal.

The Awards celebrate Australia’s growing organic wine industry, with 53 organic and biodynamic wine producers from 38 regions across Australia submitting wines judged by an eminent panel of wine judges including Mike Bennie, Alex McPherson, Josh Martin, Ramon Arnavas, Lilly Heenan and Millie Gosney, joined by the inaugural recipient of the Australian Organic Wine Awards Associate Scholarship, Olivia Evans.

Co-founder and Head Winemaker at Minimum Wines, Matt Purbrick, said he loved the new categories and was delighted by the wins.

“We were surprised to win not one, but two of the awards, and especially loved the new categories this year as they speak to a different way of drinking and enjoying wine,” Purbrick said.

“The new categories are fun and reflect the energy we like to bring to the bottle.

“The Hailstorm was also the first Pet Nat we have produced so we are really proud to receive that validation.”

Only 150 dozen of the 2021 Hailstorm Special Pet Nat, described by the judges as a “refreshing, delicious, well balanced, clean and bright”, were bottled by hand and sold out within one month, however the 2022 vintage has just been bottled and will be on sale in a few months’ time.

Recently celebrating its fifth vintage, Minimum Wines is a relative newcomer to the certified organic wine industry and is committed to making positive social and environmental impacts.

“It’s really nice for us to be part of an award that celebrates good sustainable farming practices, as it is core to our winemaking principles,” Purbrick said.

“From the beginning, we wanted to be as responsible and as accountable as possible in our grape growing and winemaking practices.

“We are certified vegan, organic and net carbon zero, drawing down more carbon than we emit by planting thousands of new trees each year, and have committed to giving more than five per cent of our revenue toward positive social and environmental impact initiatives annually.

“We are big believers that you can have a good business and a healthy planet, and we want to show just how abundant this approach can be.”

The Awards Best Left of Centre Wine and Gold Medalist, The Colossus of Harry 2020 Sauvignon Blanc, was described by the judges as a “complex, delicious, fascinating and a compelling drink”.

Made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes fully fermented on the skins, Purbrick said the wine reflected the traditional Italian style of making white wines.

“I am half Italian, and this comes through in our wines by taking common grapes and treating them a bit differently, so what you get is left of centre,” he said.

“Part of this approach is also ensuring minimum intervention at all stages by using no, or very low additives and sulphur, and without the use of fancy technology.

“We believe wine should just be fermented organic grapes, and that is our benchmark.”

Victorian certified organic winery, Baileys of Glenrowan also received a Gold Medal at the Show for their 2019 Baileys of Glenrowan Varley Shiraz.


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