Are Gran­ite Belt wines get­ting a fair shake?

Central and North Burnett Times - - EASY EATING -

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.

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