TO the untrained palate choosing the winning wines for the 2015 Pier One Sydney Harbour NSW Wine Awards judged in Orange yesterday would appear a formidable task.
However to veteran head judge PJ Charteris and other judges on the panel including local winemakers, the release of the varietal aromas from more than 860 wines laid out for judging, was a task they embraced with great diligence and enthusiasm.
The wines came to Orange from 14 regions across the state to face the judging panel.
Mr Charteris said for the small cost of an entry the wine awards is an excellent way for growers and winemakers to be judged by their peers in the industry.
“One of the satisfying things about being a judge is that no two vintages are the same.
“It’s exciting to see new people coming through with their wines in the industry but also to see the more established producers who have maintained an excellent balance year in and year out,” he said.
He says the Australian wine industry in terms of quality is in a strong position.
“I would say the overall quality of Australian wine is as high as it has ever been and our consumers are now very spoilt,” he said.
In a coup for Orange, NSW Wine Industry Association president Tom Ward said hosting the judging in a region such as Orange has benefits.
“We have had some excellent help here today from local producers, and also this has been an opportunity for some of our local winemakers to judge alongside experienced industry professionals,” he said.
Mr Charteris said one of the more interesting developments in the Australian wine industry is the polarisation of bigger well-known producers who mass market and the smaller companies that have adopted a hand sell approach to promoting their wines onto dinner tables in Australia and across the world.
The winners of the awards will be announced at a presentation lunch to be held at Pier One Sydney Harbour on Friday, October 30.