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A vintage drop

FINE VINTAGE: Ballandean's Golden Grove Estate and Golden Grove Estate winemaker Ray Costanzo were big winners at the Australian Small Winemakers Show. Photo Daniel Elliott / Stanthorpe Border Post
FINE VINTAGE: Ballandean's Golden Grove Estate and Golden Grove Estate winemaker Ray Costanzo were big winners at the Australian Small Winemakers Show. Photo Daniel Elliott / Stanthorpe Border Post Daniel Elliott

THEIR wines have been turning heads all year, and an award last week at the Australian Small Winemakers Show helped make a tough season worthwhile.

As well as four of five Queensland awards, Golden Grove Estate claimed the Champion Small Winery of Show national award for the second time in three years.

Golden Grove Estate winemaker Ray Costanzo said he was blown away and almost brought to tears by the fantastic win.

"The 2011 vintage was such a hard year and I have to give credit to my dad," he said.

"He was bringing me clean grapes from one of the most difficult seasons I've seen in years."

Wine the winner at awards night

WITH 1620 entries from around Australia and New Zealand to be examined, Australian Small Winemakers Show judge Warren Smith sipped a lot of wine recently.

While he did not have to sample all 1620 entries, Mr Smith said he sampled 150 varieties per day for three days and had a great time doing it.

"It was the first time I've been an associate judge and it was absolutely fantastic because of the opportunity to look at so many different wines," he said.

"I've been able to see lots of different styles and learnt what components make a superior wine."

Mr Smith said the best part of the event for him was the opportunity to sample a few very special wines including a 42-year-old port.

"The highlight for me was the chairman's dinner where the food was excellent and judges brought wines from their own collections," he said.

"It was a special night so people went out of their way to bring special wine and there was a lot of discussion about some amazing wines you wouldn't get to try otherwise.

"Money can't buy that level of experience and to be involved was an absolute privilege."

Winners

National Awards

Champion Small Winery of Show: Golden Grove Estate

Most Successful Exhibitor Trophy: Palmer Wines

Champion Red Wine: Lake Breeze Wines - 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon

Champion White Wine: Harewood Estate Wines - 2012 Mount Barker Riesling

Champion Fortified Wine: Stanton & Killeen Wines - Grand Topaque NV

Winemakers Award: Harewood Estate Wines - James Kellie - 2012 Mount Barker Riesling

Viticulturist Award: Lake Breeze Wines - Tim Follett - 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon

Preben Jacobsen Stewards Choice Award: Pooley Wines - 2011 Butchers Hill Pinot Noir

Queensland Awards

Award for Technical Excellence in Queensland Winemaking: Golden Grove Estate

Most Successful Queensland Exhibitor Trophy: Golden Grove Estate

Best Queensland White Wine: Golden Grove Estate - 2011 Sauvignon Blanc

Best Queensland Red Wine: Golden Grove Estate - 2011 Tempranillo

Dick de Luca Memorial Trophy for Best Queensland Shiraz: Symphony Hills Wines - 2008 Reserve Shiraz

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