After a year of setbacks, the Tradies Canberra and Region Wine Show returned in January and [drum roll, please] has announced the winners.
The wine show has been running for over 20 years and saw 295 enthusiastic entries this year.
The Tradies Canberra and Region Wine Show organiser Andy Price said the show takes exhibitors from a number of wine regions, including the Canberra District, Southern Highlands, Shoalhaven Coast, Hilltops, Tumbarumba and parts of Gundagai, where the wines are made from at least 85 per cent locally grown fruit.
“We also have exhibitors from further afield who buy grapes from the Canberra area and make wines from those,” Andy said.
The show follows a blind-tasting process and runs two judging panels of five people. Each panel initially looks at and scores separate wines, with the top wines from this process brought together for all 10 judges to assess as a group. Winners are typically selected on the basis that they are the best examples of a particular wine variety on the day of the show.
Two of the wineries that stood out at the annual Wine Show were the Mount Majura Vineyard and Murrumbateman Winery.
Sales and marketing manager of Mount Majura Vineyard Fergus McGhie said the vineyard received three gold medals at the show for their pinot grigio, riesling and rosé, as well as two trophies, one for Best Rosé and one for their chardonnay which was selected Wine of Provenance.
“A winning wine, determined by the overall winner of the category of wine, receives a trophy. The other wines are awarded bronze, silver or gold based on the quality level,” he said.
Fergus said Mount Majura Vineyard has been participating in the Canberra and Region Wine Show for the last 20 years and sees it as a great opportunity to get feedback from judges on things they have done well or what they can improve on.
“Normally there’s an exhibitors’ tasting where you can actually taste your wine alongside everybody else’s, including the bad ones. You can see what a bronze medal looks like compared to a gold one, to understand the differences and improve in the future.”
Owner and winemaker of Murrumbateman Winery Bobbie Makin said he received lovely feedback about all his winning wines this year, especially the 2021 chardonnay, which was the season’s pick. His winery has been involved in the show for over 10 years.
“This year, we received a gold medal for our dry chardonnay 2021 and a silver medal for our Mollie’s sauvignon blanc,” he said.
“We were really happy with how the wine came in off the vines. It tolerated the La Niña season. We were going really well in 2021,” he said.
“This year, we had a very vibrant palette and aromatics so we didn’t have to work as hard on that wine when it comes in naturally.
“It was nice to get the feedback from the judges and they were saying that the balance of oak and fresh acidity on the palate made it a quality wine, especially when you think in the back of house ‘oh this is a good wine’ and then get that recognition coming from the show. It’s just great.”
On Saturday (19 March), a selection of the winning wines from the Canberra and Region Wine Show will be featured at Farrah’s Liquor Collective in Fyshwick as part of their wine tasting and sales event.
Bobbie said Murrumbateman Winery would be taking their fortified white and red ports for tasting there and their two award-winning wines, their chardonnay and sauvignon blanc.
“It’s lovely to have the show back this year and be able to do these competitions again. I look forward to people getting to taste the products at the forum,” he said.
Mount Majura Vineyard will be showcasing their winning wines from the Wine Show, including their rosé, riesling and pinot grigio so that people can try them for themselves.
“It’s a good chance for the public to taste what the judges chose as the best wines of the district for this year’s show, and it’s not just a good thing for the public, but for us winemakers and wine businesses too,” he said.
“If you’re going to Farrah’s for the wine tasting, you’re going to taste some of the best wines in the country as Canberra has an incredible climate for growing grapes.”
The winning wines from the Canberra and Region Wine Show will be featured at Farrah’s Liquor Collective from 9 am on Saturday at 8 Townsville St, Fyshwick.