Our top drops dominate
THE Granite Belt's wine dominance has continued, with local vintages snaring all the big awards at last week's premier Queensland wine event.
Banca Ridge, Ridgemill Estate, Balancing Rock and Hidden Creek all picked up awards at the 35th annual Queensland Wine Awards in Brisbane last Wednesday.
Champion Wine of Show went to Balancing Rock for their 2015 Sagrantino.
At 950m above sea level, Balancing Rock is one of the nation's highest vineyards, and winery owner David Broadbent said the vines producing the winning wine were planted 12 years ago.
"It's a particularly rare variety (Sagrantino). We're the only growers of it in Queensland. It's an outstanding wine. We're so impressed,” he said.
"Being the new kids on the block on the Granite Belt, to get something like this is an absolute dream.
"It was humbling on the night to be congratulated by the likes of Angelo Puglisi and the big players, the people responsible for establishing the industry on the Granite Belt,” he said.
The winning wine was made by Mike Hayes, who was also named the Queensland Winemaker of the Year.
"This year's show attracted over 160 entries and every wine region in Queensland was represented,” Mr Hayes said.
"One of the interesting comments from the chief judge, Tony Harper, who is a national and international show judge, was that he'd never seen a better line-up of varieties in the white and red class.
"It's a real reflection of where we are going as a wine industry,” Mr Hayes said.
Mr Harper was particularly taken by Hidden Creek, which was named Queensland Winery of the Year.
After claiming two golds, a silver, a bronze and the Provenance Award (three outstanding wines of the same variety), Hidden Creek was the deserved winner.
Winery owner Andy Williams also snagged himself an individual accolade - Viticulturist of the Year.
"I didn't see that coming. It's an accolade I wasn't expecting. Nice to be rewarded and acknowledged for all the hard work I've put in,” he said.
"The awards are great for our brand and great for the Granite Belt.”
Regional Flavours was named Event of the Year.