Are Granite Belt wines getting a fair shake?
GRANITE Belt wine growers have questioned the integrity of several Australian wine shows, claiming a new judging system is costing the region awards.
Shows are now grouping wines not only by variety but by their region, with one Queensland wine judge saying the move allowed room for biased marking.
Ballandean Estate Wines Leeanne Puglisi-Gangemi has questioned the reasoning behind the move and says all wine should be judged in a true blind tasting.
“Why would we enter a show when our wines aren’t going to be judged blindly and fairly,” she said.
“I haven’t heard a good enough explanation for the change. I think these shows need to explain themselves. Why is this appropriate?
“You can’t tell me that the integrity of a show is maintained when the judges know something about the wine they’re tasting.”
Viticulturists are concerned with a perception in the wine industry that Queensland wines don’t stack up with more established regions in New South Wales, Victoria or South Australia.
Wine judge of 25 years, Tony Harper says despite an us versus them culture, the sunshine state’s wines can match it against any region.
Mr Harper has judged at major city competitions in Brisbane and Adelaide and a swag of regional shows.
He says grouping wines by region makes sense, as long as the judges aren’t pre-informed about which groups represent certain regions.
“Judges are supposed to be above that, but they’re not,” he said.
The Sydney Royal Wine Show has been accused of biased judging, after one Granite Belt winery received a score of 83.6 for its Gewurtztraminer, a drop that won top gold (95+) at a plethora of wine shows around Australia.