A WINNER: Steve Messiter, from Girraween Estate, was awarded the Royal Queensland Wine Show Bursary.
A WINNER: Steve Messiter, from Girraween Estate, was awarded the Royal Queensland Wine Show Bursary. Contributed

Little for Queensland wine to cheers about

THERE wasn't too much to cheer about for Queensland and Granite Belt wines last week as they were largely overlooked at the Royal Queensland Wine Show.

For 141 years, thousands of Australian winemakers have entered the nationally esteemed RQWS - the first capital city wine show held in Australia each year.

There were a few bronzes across the board. Golden Grove Estate nabbed a silver for a Rose, marking a return to the wine show scene for the Costanzo run winery.

It's the first time in over four years that the winery has entered any wine show.

"I had the old man badgering me to get back into the system,” winemaker, Ray Costanzo said.

"I thought I should support Queensland Wine.”

Mr Costanzo said he was slightly surprised to see the Granite Belt get snubbed.

"I was a little bit. I expected someone to get up there and get a gold. We do have gold medal worthy wines out there but at the end of the day, wine shows and results vary all the time.

"You can't criticise the judges too much. They're there to do a job. On the day when they've got 70 Shiraz's to look through it does get a bit difficult,” he said.

BACK TO THE SHOW: Golden Grove Estate's Ray Costanzo with daughters Jaimee and Teagan, as well as beloved winery dog Bailey.
BACK TO THE SHOW: Golden Grove Estate's Ray Costanzo with daughters Jaimee and Teagan, as well as beloved winery dog Bailey. Matthew Purcell

He was pleased to get recognition for his Rosé though.

"It is a bloody good wine. Rosé is a big class now and they only awarded one gold and four silvers in a line up of about 70 Rosé's.

"It's a wine I take a hell of a lot of time with. So popular at the moment,” he said.

Overall, Queensland winemakers failed to collect a single gold medal this year. Therefore, the trophy for the best exhibit by a Queenslander was not awarded.

Granite Belt winemaking pioneer Angelo Puglisi said the Royal National Association should carry some of the blame for Queensland's poor showing.

He said many winemakers simply couldn't afford to enter because of the prohibitive entry fee and the requirement for entrants to supply the RNA with six bottles of every variety entered.

"We are not Penfolds, we are not McWilliams. We are not big producers. Every bottle we send is one less we have to sell at the cellar door.

"We work blood hard for every dollar we make,” he said.

One local winemaker who did walk away from the show beaming, was Girraween Estate's Steve Messiter.

He was the winner of the Royal Queensland Wine Show Bursary - which covers him to continue his wine studies in Adelaide.

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