GONE are the days when chardonnay was off the menu at Stockman’s Ridge Wines: the blend is now winning the Orange winery some of the nation’s top wine awards.
The winery’s 2016 Outlaw Chardonnay has just scored the Champion Central Ranges Trophy at the National Cool Climate Wine Show.
This year’s show saw more than 800 wines entered by 157 winemakers from across Australia, with the Stockman’s’ wine one of just 14 to be awarded a trophy.
We never made chardonnay. I used to ‘ABC: anything but chardonnay’.Stockman’s Ridge Wines owner Jonathan Hambrook
Stockman’s owner Jonathan Hambrook may have long been making wines, but has only just turned his attention to chardonnay.
And it is already paying off.
“We never made chardonnay. I used to ‘ABC: anything but chardonnay’,” he said.
“Two years ago we took on the challenge of adding it to our portfolio.”
Mr Hambrook said the cool climate in Orange was perfect for growing high-quality chardonnay grapes.
The NCCWS is often used as a bench-marking process by winemakers and this was the first trophy win for Stockman’s Ridge Wines following 10 years of entries.
“It’s the oldest and the largest cool climate wine show,” Mr Hambrook said.
“You’re completing against wines of the same calibre and it’s always attracted a good following.”
This year’s NCCWS attracted entries from some of the most well-known and decorated winemakers across the country.
“A lot of these powerhouse wine-making regions enter the show,” Mr Hambrook said.
“It [his NCCWS trophy] shows we’re certainly punching above our weight.”
Mr Hambrook’s chardonnay also won awards at the Australian Highland Wine Show, Orange Wine Show, and the James Halliday Chardonnay Challenge.
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