TOP DROPS: More than 1000 wines from across Australia and New Zealand will be compared at one of wine's most prestigious shows.
TOP DROPS: More than 1000 wines from across Australia and New Zealand will be compared at one of wine's most prestigious shows. Contributed

Top-tier show is flourishing

A TEAM of top-class judges is gearing up for a marathon wine-tasting session this weekend as the Australian Small Winemakers Show gets underway.

This year 1031 wines from across Australia and New Zealand will be compared at one of the most prestigious shows for small-scale winemakers, under the watchful eye of international chairman of judges, Jim Harre.

Fresh off the back of being named the Queensland Winery of the Year, Hidden Creek winemaker Andy Williams has entered six wines in the ASWS - a verdelho, chardonnay, shiraz and tempranillo, a rare tawny, and a Rosé.

"It's a truly national show, with wines from across the length and breath of Australia and New Zealand,” he said.

"It gives us an opportunity to benchmark the particular varieties we make against producers from different states and regions in Australia and New Zealand who are making the same thing.”

And importantly, he said, it gave him the chance to see how other wine makers do things differently.

"Winemaking is all about the styles that change and evolve; it's never the same,” Andy said.

"Ten-to-15-years ago chardonnays were full of oak; it's hard to find them with that in them now.”

ASWS president Ray Palmer said the show was a great way to highlight Granite Belt wineries.

"They've been holding their own pretty well actually, the local wineries, with the show,” he said.

"And the nearly 500 people who come up for the public tasting - quite a few are from Brisbane and Toowoomba and the coast - they come up and have a look around the wineries and make a weekend of it.”

From Saturday the judging team will set about the task of tasting more than 1000 wines and selecting which ones will receive the coveted awards at the Gala Presentation Dinner on Wednesday night.

Members of the public will have the chance to sample the award-winning wines at the gala presentation dinner or the public tasting at the Exhibition Centre at Stanthorpe Showgrounds on Saturday, October 27.

Taste test

The $70 Public Tasting ticket price includes:

- Four hours of tasting of select wines

- Light finger food

- Entertainment by David and Sarah Hume

- Free, etched tasting glass

asws.com.au. Tickets available online

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