Granite Belt winemakers toast awards
THE Granite Belt is off to a cracking start this wine show season as eight wineries placed in their respective classes and Golden Grove Estate claimed Champion wine in show at the Royal Agricultural Society of Queensland Wine Show and Mediterranean Challenge.
Golden Grove Estate winemaker Ray Costanzo said he was thrilled its Joven Tempranillo scored 97 points to win.
"I've been a judge at the show for about five years so I haven't been able to enter my own wines," Mr Costanzo said.
"Last time we entered with a Mediterranean Red and took out the same award," he said.
Golden Grove Estate also won most successful exhibitor, with all eight wines entered winning an award.
"It's all about consistency, trophies are a second to that," Mr Costanzo said.
"No matter if it's one of our cheapest sweet wines to our more expensive reds; I still take the same care," he said.
For the Costanzo family though, it was not just about what happened in the barrel.
"Without good grapes you can't make good wine," said Mr Costanzo, the third generation on the Ballandean property.
"My dad and my brother know their vineyard."
He said when making the wine he always tried to make something he would enjoy himself.
"At the end of the day me and my family are our own critics.
"Forget shows," he said.
"If you're doing it for the shows you're doing it for the wrong reason.
"It all has to work in the mouth, balance is key."
Leeanne Puglisi from Ballandean Estate said she was also thrilled with the results.
"This was the first time we'd ever produced Durif and we're one point off a gold," Ms Puglisi said.
"It's exciting as far as Strange Bird Varieties go that the Granite Belt is doing so well."
After scoring 96 points for their Pinot Gris, Martin Cooper said he was "absolutely ecstatic" with the results.
"Our winemaker Peter McGlashan has made a sensational wine," he said.
"It's very luscious and fruit driven, I take my hat off to Peter."
Mr Cooper said the 2014 vintage had a tough start, and a near-perfect end.
"2014 had a lot of rain in January, so we were really worried about the fruit but luckily a dry spell hit in February and March which picked the fruit up," he said.
"I leave it up to Peter (McGlashan) and our trainee Jacob Venness to get the most out of the fruit.
"It's a great result right across the Granite Belt.
"I've no doubt in time the non-believers from the southern states will come around."
Class 1; Robert Channon Wines and Summit Estate Wines won bronze.
Class 2, Marsanne, Roussanne or blend; Symphony Hill Wines won bronze for its Viognier.
Class 3; Ridgemill Estate won gold and Robert Channon Wines was awarded silver.
Class 4; Golden Grove Estate won silver for its Vermentino.
Class 6; Golden Grove Estate won gold for Joven Tempranillo and Symphony Hill Wines received bronze for its Tempranillo.
Class 7; Ballandean Estate's Durif won a silver, and Golden Grove estate won silver and bronze for its Vintage Grand Reserve Durif and Mouvedre.
Class 8; Ballandean Estate's Saperavi won gold, Golden Grove and Symphony Hill Wines received bronze for their Ner d'Avola and Reserve Lagrein.
Class 9; Just Red Wines' Daily Red Shiraz took out bronze.
Class 12; Golden Grove Estate won silver for Vintage Grand Reserve Shiraz and Ballandean Estate won bronze for Opera Block Shiraz.
Class 13; Golden Grove Estate and Just Red Wines won bronze for their Mediterranean Red and Shiraz Viognier.
Class 16; Bent Rd Winery won bronze for its La Petite Mort Viognier, Amphora Marsanne and Amphora Shiraz/Viognier.
Class 17; Golden Grove Estate, Ridgemill Estate and Summit Estate Wines won bronze for their Chardonnay.
Class 18; Just Red Wines and Robert Channon Wines won silver for their Tannat and Petit Verdot and Ballandean Estate Wines and Summit Estate Wines won silver for their Malbec/Jacquez and Pinot.