NSW Wine Awards trophy winners announced

NSW Governor Margaret Beazley, Nathan Rees, Jenny Silkman, Greg Silkman and Annabel Holland. Image courtesy NSW Wine

Last week the 2021 NSW Wine Awards top trophy results were announced at an exclusive Awards Presentation Luncheon at ICC Sydney. 21 Trophies were presented to the state’s best wines, including the ultimate Trophy – the ‘NSW Governor’s 2021 Best in Show’ – presented by the Governor of New South Wales, Margaret Beazley AC QC.

“Choosing a single wine to be awarded the title of NSW Wine of The Year was an exceptionally challenging task, given the quality of wines to select from, and the breadth of styles that were awarded best in their respective classes,” chair of judges Nick Spencer said.

“Two wines went head-to-head this year resulting in a very close contest. The wine that was ultimately awarded as the 2021 NSW Wine of The Year was the Silkman Wines 2014 Reserve Semillon from the Hunter Valley.

“This wine is nothing short of extraordinary, and a true marker of the Hunter wine region as one of the best in the world.

“Skilled wine maker Liz Silkman has produced a wine that is remarkably fresh for a seven-year-old wine, while still offering an incredibly complexity.

“When I consider what makes a wine exceptional – it’s structure, balance, length, freshness, complexity, concentration and an ability to mature gracefully, this wine ticks all of those boxes.”

Trophies were awarded to a diverse range of winemakers representing regions across the state, with producers from Canberra District, Orange, Tumbarumba, Hilltops, Gundagai, Mudgee and the Riverina all receiving acclaim.

The Riverina region was a particular focus this year as it was selected for the Chair of Judges Trophy.

Each year the chair is asked to select a wine from a nominated region in NSW. The region changes every year and is selected based on a number of criteria.

This year the Riverina was nominated as it is one of Australian most important wine regions; not only because it is responsible for around 20 per cent of Australia’s entire production but, importantly, because it is reportedly becoming an epicentre for innovation in viticulture with particular focus on growing grape varieties suitable to Australia’s changing climate.

The winning wine was the Trimboli Family Wines 2021 Saverio Fiano, which was described as “a perfect example of why this variety will become one of Australia’s most important grape varieties in the future.”

This is the third year the Awards have been held at ICC Sydney and celebrates the fifth year that the convention centre has been open. For the last 5 years, ICC Sydney has not wavered from its commitment to showcasing NSW wine showcasing a wine list entirely of NSW wines (100,000 bottles pre pandemic).

“We are delighted to host the Awards for the third consecutive year, helping promote NSW wine on a global platform,” ICC Sydney CEO Geoff Donaghy said.

“By supporting the industry, we also provide our clients and event attendees access to wines of diversity and quality, that NSW is becoming famous for.”

As well as the wine awards the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) presented the 2021 Graham Gregory Award for services to the NSW wine industry, the industry’s top citation, to Liz Riley of Vitibit.

Riley has had a prolific career within the wine industry, since graduating from the University of Adelaide followed by becoming a National Nuffield Farming Scholar.

She currently runs her own viticulture consultancy, Vitibit, specialising in the fields of research and development, vineyard sustainability, climate change adaption and fruit quality for growers, and providing expert technical and practical advice to vineyard owners throughout NSW, nationally and internationally.

She has also represented the NSW wine industry in national forums, committees and boards for many years.

“Liz Riley’s significant contribution to the NSW wine industry is without peer. Her advocacy for the NSW wine industry on research, development, extension and precision viticulture has been a major driver in keeping NSW grape growers and winemakers at the forefront of quality and sustainability,” NSW Wine Industry Association president Mark Bourne said.

Liz is the first female recipient of the Graham Gregory Award.

Click here for a full list of awards recipients


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