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Judges hard at work during the 2014 NSW Small Winemakers Show

Sniff and swirl: The judges hard at work during the 2014 NSW Small Winemakers Show. Photo: Andrew Kerr.

THE NSW Small Winemakers Show celebrated its 23rd year with an increase in entries and a rise in gold medals awarded.

Shiraz, Chardonnay and Semillon played their usual starring roles for NSW, but the diversity of the regions also came to the fore as a total of 615 entries were received from 101 small producers who crush a maximum of 500-tonnes annually.

Debuting in his first year as chairman of judges was Mike De Iuliis of De Iuliis Wines in the Hunter Valley.

He was delighted with the overall quality of entries across NSW wine regions and stated “It’s very satisfying to see the spread of gold medals and trophies across so many NSW regions and the diversity of style as winemakers explore their regional expression, especially with Shiraz”.

The gold medal wines were spread across seven NSW regions – Hunter Valley, Canberra District, Hilltops, Orange, South Coast, Central Ranges and Tumbarumba, whilst silver medal wines extended to the Southern Highlands and Mudgee.

The gold medals increased by 1.5 per cent compared to last year which demonstrates the good vintages NSW has experienced, particularly in 2013, and the wealth of winemaking talent in the state.

De Iuliis feels the strength of NSW wines was demonstrated in the Semillon, Shiraz and Chardonnay classes – always the strongest of the show, but was pleased to see other classes lifting the standard.

“It was pleasing to see the Hilltops region yet again producing some really good Cabernet,” he said. “We also saw the continuing rise of Canberra District Riesling and the steady performance of alternative varieties such as Tempranillo, Barbera and Arneis.”

The Hunter Valley received nine of the 14 trophies awarded, with Tumbarumba and Hilltops winning two trophies each. Other regions to win trophies were Canberra District and Central Ranges.

Major trophy winners were:

  • Winetitles best boutique white wine of show: 2013 Mount View Estate Reserve Chardonnay (Hunter Valley)
  • Clear Image best white wine of show: 2007 McLeish Semillon (Hunter Valley)
  • Vintec-Transtherm best red wine of show: 2013 Moppity Vineyards Single Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Hilltops)

Other trophy winners were:

  • 2014 Ravensworth Riesling (Canberra District)
  • 2010 Charles Sturt Reserve Sparkling (Tumbarumba)
  • 2014 David Hook Reserve Riesling (fruit sourced from Central Ranges)
  • 1978 Drayton’s Family Wines Port Blend (Hunter Valley)
  • 2011 Hart & Hunter The Hill Shiraz (Hunter Valley)
  • 2013 Briar Ridge Dairy Hill Shiraz (Hunter Valley)
  • 2012 Coppabella The Crest Chardonnay (Tumbarumba)

For a full list of results visit www.nswwineshow.com.au