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Hunter winemakers toast success at NSW awards

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Hunter vintners are toasting success following an outstanding evening at the recent 2021 ICC Sydney NSW Wine Awards.

And, it was Pokolbin’s Silkman Wines, which stole the spotlight at the ICC Sydney, taking out the NSW Governor’s 2021 Best in Show with its 2014 Reserve Semillon.

Ironically, the winning trophy was presented by the Governor of New South Wales Her Excellency the Honourable 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.

“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 winemaker 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.”

Silkman Wines also secured the NSW DPI Trophy for Best Semillon and the Orora Trophy for Best Dry White in Show.

Pokolbin wineries collected the Finlayson’s Trophy for Best Chardonnay, courtesy of First Creek Wines 2019 Winemakers Reserve Chardonnay, and the CCL Trophy for Best White Blend, via Saddler’s Creek Wines 2021 Winemaker’s Craft Wild White, too.

The Charles Stuart University Trophy for Best Red Blend went to Broke’s Margan Wines 2019 White Label Saxonvale Shiraz Mourvèdre.

Of the other trophies awarded, there was a fabulous array of diversity, with winemakers and grape growers from Canberra, Orange, Tumbarumba, Hilltops, Gundagai, Mudgee and the Riverina all receiving acclaim.

As well as the wine awards, another great achievement was recognised on the day – and that also landed in the Hunter Valley.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) presented the 2020 Graham Gregory Award to Liz Riley, from Vitibit, at Nulkaba, for her service to the industry.

“She’s had an amazing career, since graduating from the University of Adelaide followed by becoming a National Nuffield Farming Scholar,” NSW Wine Industry Association president Mark Bourne said.

“Liz currently runs their viticulture consultancy, 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.

“They have also taken their passion for research and viticulture to the next level by representing the NSW wine industry in national forums, committees and boards for many years.

“So, Liz’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.”

The 2021 ICC Sydney NSW Wine Awards trophy winners:

  • Australia Post Trophy for Best Riesling: Pepper Tree Wines 2021 Stone Mountain Riesling (Orange)
  • NSW DPI Trophy for Best Semillon: Silkman Wines 2014 Reserve Semillon (Hunter Valley)
  • Nexia Australia Trophy for Best Sauvignon Blanc: Kosciuszko Wines 2021 Sauvignon Blanc (Tumbarumba)
  • Finlayson’s Trophy for Best Chardonnay: First Creek 2019 Winemakers Reserve Chardonnay (Hunter Valley)
  • Orora Trophy for Best Other White Variety: Trimboli Family Wines 2021 Saverio Fiano (Riverina)
  • CCL Trophy for Best White Blend: Saddler’s Creek Wines 2021 Winemaker’s Craft Wild White (Hunter/Hilltops)
  • MultiColor Trophy for Best Light Red: Cassegrain Wines 2021 Seasons Spring Rosé (Hilltops)
  • Australia Post Trophy for Best Pinot Noir: Heifer Station 2019 Single Vineyard Pinot Noir (Orange)
  • Nexia Australia Trophy for Best Shiraz: Lerida Estate 2019 Shiraz (Canberra District)
  • RIEDEL Trophy for Best Cabernet Sauvignon: Shaw Wines 2018 Reserve Merriman Cabernet (Canberra District)
  • MultiColor Trophy for Best Other Red Variety: McWilliam’s 2021 Alternis Nero D’Avola (Gundagai)
  • Charles Stuart University Trophy for Best Red Blend: Margan 2019 White Label Saxonvale Shiraz Mourvèdre (Hunter)
  • NSW DPI Best Organic Wine Award: See Saw 2021 Marge (Orange)
  • ICC Sydney 1828 Innovation Award: Gilbert 2021 Petillant Naturel Rosé (Mudgee)
  • Chair of Judges Trophy for Best Riverina Wine: Trimboli Family Wines 2021 Saverio Fiano (Riverina)
  • WINEDEPOT Trophy for Best Sparkling Wine: Printhie Wines Swift 2013 Vintage (Orange)
  • ICC Sydney Trophy for Best Sweet Wine: De Bortoli 2019 Noble One Semillon (Riverina)
  • ICC Sydney Trophy for Best Fortified: De Bortoli NV Show Liqueur Muscat (Riverina)
  • Orora Trophy for Best Dry White in Show: Silkman Wines 2014 Reserve Semillon (Hunter Valley)
  • CCL Trophy for Best Dry Red in Show: Lerida Estate 2019 Shiraz (Canberra District)
  • NSW Governor’s Trophy for Best in Show: Silkman Wines 2014 Reserve Semillon (Hunter Valley)

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