Wine challenge tests local style By JAMIE KRONBORG
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THE North East Wine Challenge 2017 opened in Myrtleford yesterday with judge Jane Faulkner leading a panel to taste and assess 220 wines during two days of competition.
The challenge ranks wines by style from the North East’s five geographical indications, or districts – Alpine Valleys, Beechworth, Glenrowan, King Valley and Rutherglen.
It is hosted by Alpine Valleys Vignerons and is now in its sixth year.
AVV president Micheal Freudenstein said the challenge was a unique show for wines from the North East.
“It provides an opportunity for winemakers to showcase their wines and benchmark them against similar wines within a competitive environment,” he said.
“Wines from each region gain points for their respective regions based on the judged score.
“The region with the most points wins the coveted ‘Challenge Shield’.”
The challenge panel also awards trophies for wine of the show, best sparkling, white and red wines, alternative variety and fortified wine, and a trophy for the best Alpine Valleys’ wine.
Ms Faulkner, a wine journalist and Australian Alternative Varieties’ Wine Show chief judge, chairs the panel which this year includes Bests Great Western winemaker and Oakdene Wines’ winemaker Steven Paul, from the Bellarine Peninsula.
Associate judges are Gapsted Wines’ winemaker Blair Jensen and Ringer Reef winemaker Julie Holm.
Mr Freudenstein said wines in the show were divided into 25 classes, with alternative varieties making up the biggest classes, followed by shiraz.
He said the divisions were indicative of the North East’s pursuit of traditional and alternative varieties.
The challenge judging, which is being held in Ablett Pavilion at McNamara Reserve, will be followed at 5pm today by a public tasting of wines in the show.
Trophies will be presented at 6.45pm. 0cm 0cm 0cm 0cm 1861m <2cm FINE NOSE: North East Wine Challenge chief judge Jane Faulkner began tasting with the judging panel in Myrtleford yesterday. PHOTO: Jamie Kronborg 5-10cm 2-5cm 1575m 1695m