2015 Australian Italian Varietals Wine Awards

The inaugural Australian Italian Varietals Wine Awards has resulted in 11 gold medals and 2 Top Gold medals being awarded to Aussie vignerons.

More than 200 wines – all made with Italian heritage and Australian style – were entered into the show from across the country and were collected into 26 different varietals/blends/styles; including Prosecco, Moscato, Arneis, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Vermentino, Friulano, Aglianico, Lagrein, Nero d’Avola, Primitivo, Sagratino and Dolcetto.

And after much deliberation, the ultimate title of Best Wine of Show was awarded to Galli Estate 2015 Camelback Montepulciano.

Trophy for Best White Wine went to Juniper 2016 Small Batch Fiano, trophy for Best Red Wine went to Galli Estate 2015 Camelback Montepulciamo, and Chief Judge’s Special Award for Most Exciting Wine of Show went Juniper 2016 Small Batch Fiano. Top gold medals went to Berton Vineyards Metal Label Vermentino and DeBortoli Wines 2014 Bellariva Sangiovese.

Galli Estate was the vision of Tuscan born Lorenzo Galli, who came to Australia in the 1950s and carefully selected two vineyards in Victoria, in the Heathcote and Sunbury wine regions. Galli’s young gun winemaker, Ben Ranken, approaches winemaking with a minimalist hand. He prefers to use natural wild yeasts, some natural malolactic fermentation and limited filtration..

The judging panel for the Australian Italian Varietals Wine Awards – held in conjunction with the 2016 Riverina Wine Show – was led by wine journalist, sommelier and consultant Sophie Otton (Chair of Judges), Sue Hodder (Senior Winemaker at Wynns) and Mark Protheroe (Specialist Judge and Head Sommelier of the Grossi Restaurant Group).

“The Australian Italian Varieties Wine Awards was not only an exciting new development for the wine show calendar, but also extremely rewarding for the judges,” said Sophie Otton. “Of the 200 wines entered, the quality of the candidates in their varietal fields was very impressive, beautifully made wines in both richer Australian style and the more restrained European tradition.”

Here’s the full list of Gold medallists:

Bremerton Vintners 2016 Bremerton Special Release Fiano

Juniper Margaret River 2016 Juniper Small Batch Fiano

Nugan Estate 2016 Frasca’s Lane Pinot Grigio

Berton Vineyards 2016 Berton Vineyards Metal Label Vermentino (Top Gold)

McWilliam’s 2015 Hanwood 1913 Vermentino

Serafino Wines 2016 Serafino Bellissimo Montepulciano

Galli Estate 2015 Camelback Montepulciano

Longview Vineyards 2013 Longview Nebbiolo Della Casa Nebbiolo

DeBortoli Wines 2015 Vinoque Sangiovese

DeBortoli Wines 2014 Bellariva Sangiovese (Top Gold)

Homestead Estate 2014 Homestead Estate Sangiovese

Angullong Wines 2015 Fossil Hill Sagratino

Andrew Peace Wines 2014 Australia Felix Sagratino