ORANGE Highland Wines owner Ross Harrison is thrilled his 2012 sauvignon blanc has been named as one of the state’s top 40 wines.
In this year’s NSW Wine Awards, announced this week, Orange Highland Wines was recognised alongside three other Orange wines, Angullong’s 2009 Fossil Hill shiraz viognier, Pepper Tree Wines’ 2011 Venus Block reserve chardonnay and Logan’s 2008 cabernet merlot.
Mr Harrison, who owns the Nashdale winery with his wife Helen, said the awards were highly regarded.
“We’ve done really well with our sauvignon blanc in lots of different ways ... I think it’s the consistency of what we’re doing that pleases me very much,” he said.
Mr Harrison said it was hard to tell how much the award would help raise the profile of the winery, however, Orange still had a fair way to go in raising its profile as a wine region.
He said a recent survey of 665 people, conducted by Newspoll on behalf of the Orange Region Vingerons’ Association, showed more needed to be done to promote the region, particularly if wineries wanted to target the Sydney market.
He said the people surveyed were more familiar with Mudgee as a wine region than Orange.
“Clearly the Hunter Valley is the most well-known region as you would expect,” he said.
NSW Wine Industry Association president David Lowe said the top 40 list was the most diverse and exciting selection in the history of the awards, with 16 wine varieties selected from nine of the state’s 14 wine regions.
“The diversity of climates, varieties and soils in NSW allows us to produce an incredibly broad range of wines,” he said.
“It is exciting to see newer varieties such as barbera, nebbiolo and vermentino emerge alongside NSW classics of semillon and shiraz.”
Once again the Hunter Valley was strongly represented, with 22 wines in the top 40.
Mr Lowe said the announcement of the top 40 wines was the culmination of two days of judging this year’s 676 wine entries.
Trophy winners will be announced at the 2012 Citibank NSW Wine Awards trophy presentation dinner in Sydney on October 22.