ROWLEE Wines has topped the Orange Wine Show for the first time with its 2016 chardonnay.
The vineyard took out best wine of show, best white wine of show, best exhibitor of show and best young chardonnay from a field of 312 entries.
The label started in 2013.
Principal Nicole Samodol, whose parents planted the vineyard in 2000 and 2001, said the achievement was exciting.
“It’s been a real team effort – everyone collaborated in the winemaking,” she said.
“I think we had a great season, the wine developed nicely and it’s drinking really well now.”
Taking out the best red wine of the show was Gartelmann Wines with its 2015 Dietrich Shiraz, which also won the best shiraz category.
The same vintage won the award last year.
Jorg Gartelmann, who produces 19 wines from grapes grown in Orange, Mudgee and the Hunter Valley, said the volcanic soils at the Bellview vineyard in Belgravia were key to his shiraz.
“We entered the 2016, but it was bottled shortly before the show and the time they take to come together varies from year to year,” he said.
The Chairman’s Special Trophy and the best mature red went to Davis Premium Vineyards’ 2009 The Feldspars Shiraz Viognier.
Orange Region Vigerons Association president Justin Jarrett said the shows went “in waves”.
“Winners seem to dominate for a few years and we all lift,” he said.
“We’ve had a real changing of the guard.”
Master of Wine Nick Bulleid said experience was shone through the entries.
“Shiraz has established itself as clearly the best red wine for the region,” he said.
He said chardonnays performed strongly, while riesling and pinot noir had improved.
“Experience in other wine regions shows us that when people see neighbours not as competitors, but as, if you would like, shareholders in the wine region, that’s where the quality and consistency improve,” he said.
Mr Jarrett welcomed the number of young people at the lunch – among them was Philip Shaw Wines cellarhand and intern winemaker Jacob Parton.
The 22-year-old started as an electrician, but when he started working at the winery last year, he never stopped.
He is now studying wine science at university and one day hopes to own a vineyard.
“I love that it’s hands-on, but it’s got a science and chemistry part as well – a lot of people don’t realise it’s a lot about science and microbiology,” he said.
2017 trophy winners
- Saint Martin Best Wine of Show: Rowlee 2016 Chardonnay
- Fastway Best White Wine of Show: Rowlee 2016 Chardonnay
- Impresstik Labels and UPM Raflatac Best Red Wine of Show: Gartelmann Wines 2015 Diedrich Shiraz
- International Convention Centre Sydney Best Exhibitor of Show: Rowlee Wines
- Spiegelau Chairman’s Special Trophy: Davis Premium Vineyards 2009 The Feldspars Shiraz Viognier
- D’Aquino Group of Companies Best Pinot Gris: Cooks Lot 2017 allotment 666 Pinot Gris
- Ferment Best Riesling: Davis Premium Vineyards 2017 Carillion Estate Grown Riesling
- Madrez Wine Services Best Sauvignon Blanc: Mortimer’s Wines 2016 Chestnut Garth Sauvignon Blanc
- Saint Martin Best Young Chardonnay: Rowlee 2016 Chardonnay
- Union Bank Best Mature Chardonnay: Swinging Bridge 2015 Mrs Payten Chardonnay
- Oilsplus Best Rose Style: Colmar Estate 2017 Pinot Rosé
- Chill Wine Co Best Pinot Noir: Swinging Bridge 2016 MAW Pinot Noir
- On-Trac Ag Best Shiraz: Gartelmann Wines 2015 Diedrich Shiraz
- GK Craig Printers Best Cabernet Sauvignon: Tamburlaine Wines 2016 Orange Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
- Kelly’s Rugby Hotel Best Other Red: Angullong Wines 2016 Fossil Hill Tempranillo
- Vintessential Best Mature Red: Davis Premium Vineyards 2009 The Feldspars Shiraz Viognier