Among the best of the bunch

Lo­cal wine­maker in run­ning for na­tional wine award

Myrtleford Times - - News -

three times been a can­di­date for the self-nom­i­nat­ing or ‘shoul­der tap’ award, which is de­signed to recog­nise the qual­ity and di­ver­sity of Aus­tralian wines made by women.

The South Aus­tralian-born and ed­u­cated wine­maker, who came to the North East to work at Feather­top Win­ery in 2012, has qui­etly cut an en­vi­able path in the Aus­tralian wine busi­ness.

Tes­ta­ment to her skills were last week’s North East Wine Chal­lenge tro­phies for best Alpine Val­leys’ wine, best al­ter­na­tive white va­ri­ety, best al- ter­na­tive red va­ri­ety and best red wine.

Ms Marsh said she had first nom­i­nated for the ‘Aus­tralian Women in Wine’ wine­maker award in 2015 when she and May­ford Wines’ Eleana An­der­son, from Pore­punkah, were se­lected as fi­nal­ists.

“So in the very first year two of the four fi­nal­ists were from the Alpine Val­leys,” Ms Marsh said.

This year there are also only four fi­nal­ists – Ms Marsh and Ms Phillips as a dual nom­i­na­tion, Sal­tram Wines’ Shavaughn Wells (South Aus­tralia) and Vasse Felix’s Vir- ginia Will­cock (West­ern Aus­tralia).

Ms Marsh said she had been de­vel­op­ing Billy But­ton Wines for lit­tle more than a year when nom­i­na­tions opened for the 2016 award.

“I was nom­i­nated and I was a fi­nal­ist again (with Emma Nor­biato, Anna Poo­ley, Alexia Roberts), but I didn’t win,” she said last week.

“Then it came up this year and I de­cided to take a dif­fer­ent tack, nom­i­nat­ing my­self and my as­sis­tant wine­maker, Alex Phillips.

“Most peo­ple in the wine busi­ness seem to have a team be­hind them – in the lab, in the cel­lar and have man­age­ment and mar­ket­ing.

“We don’t. Here at Billy But­ton the two of us ba­si­cally do ev­ery sin­gle thing ex­cept pick (grapes) much.

“But from the time the grapes ar­rive at the win­ery we do ev­ery­thing.”

Bri­tish wine critic Jan­cis Robin­son – per­haps the most recog­nised woman in wine in the world – has helped to spon­sor this year’s ‘Aus­tralian Women in Wine’ awards.

She ad­vises the Queen’s cel­lar­mas­ter.

The awards are given by The Fab­u­lous Ladies’ Wine So­ci­ety and its founder, Jane Thom­son.

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