27 May 2024

New vintners and varieties break through in sparkling National Wine Show

| Ian Bushnell
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wine tasting

Judges appraise entries from across Australia at the National Wine Show. Photo: Michell Rowe.

There have been many new varieties, the sparkling wines have sparkled and the trend toward lighter wines has continued at this year’s National Wine Show at Exhibition Park.

Judging has wrapped up, and the organisers are now preparing for the show’s trophy presentation dinner on Thursday night (30 May) at the National Press Club and the National Wine Experience tasting at EPIC on Saturday, 1 June.

National Wine Show chair Andy Gregory said unlike last year, judges had awarded trophies across all varieties, and new wineries had emerged as forces.

Mr Greogory said the success of some of the less-known wineries would surprise people.

“One has never secured a gold medal before getting a trophy this year,” he said.

“We had another 52 new first-time wineries qualifying and entering the show.

“What we’re doing is making sure the National Wine Show is attractive to all makers from the smallest to the largest.”

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Mr Gregory said Chardonnay was the biggest single class for the first time, displacing Shiraz and reflecting shifting drinking tastes.

“Consumers, domestic and international, are looking for lighter style wines, rosés and your lighter style reds,” he said.

This includes new Mediterranean varieties such as Graciano.

Judges also said that this year the show had received the highest quality bracket of sparkling wines they had ever judged at this event.

Mr Gregory said Prime Minister Anthony Albanese would head a long list of dignitaries at the presentation dinner next Thursday, which showed how well respected the industry is.

Last year’s VIP tasting of National Wine Show entries. More than 5000 bottles of wine, including all the trophy winners, will be opened for the National Wine Experience event on 1 June. Photo: Studio Vita.

That event won’t mark the end of the Show’s Canberra calendar because, on Saturday, 1 June, it will stage a public tasting of more than 900 award-winning wines, including the trophy winners.

The 250-ticket event run by the Royal National Capital Agricultural Society event will serve up three hours of tasting.

RNCAS Chief Executive Officer Adelina La Vita said people would have access to the entire range of wines entered in the National Wine Show, including the winners of the Len Evans Memorial White Wine of Show, the James Halliday Red Wine of Show and the ultimate prize, the 2024 Prime Minister’s Trophy.

“It’s an incredibly rare opportunity to experience the pinnacle of Australian winemaking,” she said.

“More than 5000 bottles of wine will be opened for tasting, offering an unparalleled journey through Australia’s diverse wine regions.”

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Ms La Vita said the National Wine Experience was a sneak peek at an exciting new National Wine Festival to be launched in Canberra next year to mark the 50th anniversary of the National Wine Show of Australia.

“The festival will feature food and wine tastings, demonstrations, workshops and presentations, gourmet markets, culinary tours and behind-the-scenes experiences,” she said.

The National Wine Show is held each year in Canberra. Only gold or silver-medal-winning wines from 32 qualifying capital city and regional shows across the country can enter the exclusive competition.

The National Wine Experience will be held in the Coorong Pavilion on Saturday, 1 June, from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm.

Tickets are $120 and dress is smart casual.

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