Winer­ies raise glass to wins

Augusta Margaret River Times - - News - War­ren Hately

The Lang­ton’s Mar­garet River Wine Show has wrapped up with ac­co­lades for some of the re­gion’s premium pro­duc­ers, as well as a new award to recog­nise pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment within the wine sec­tor.

Among the winer­ies recog­nised at the show from Oc­to­ber 29Novem­ber 1, Stella Bella Wines won the tro­phy of the show for its Suck­fiz­zle Chardon­nay 2017, which also won the white wine award, while the Noc­turne Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon 2017 was listed for best red.

Stella Bella chief wine­maker Luke Jo­liffe said his team strived to give each prod­uct its own per­son­al­ity.

“It is awe­some to see our ef­forts ac­knowl­edged and awarded in our own back­yard and on a na­tional stage,” he said.

A new award was also un­veiled this year, with Howard Park’s des­ti­na­tion mar­ket­ing and cel­lar door man­ager Emily Bromell win­ning the in­au­gu­ral wine tourism ex­cel­lence award.

The win will see Ms Bromell fur­ther her pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment with a choice of spon­sored over­seas trips to in­dus­try des­ti­na­tions cour­tesy of a $2000 bur­sary.

Ms Bromell told the Times as­sess­ment for the award in­cluded an anony­mous visit from a “mys­tery shop­per” at Howard Park’s cel­lar door.

Along with a writ­ten sub­mis­sion, Ms Bromell said she out­lined the fo­cus of her role and the win­ery’s tourism strate­gies. “The cel­lar door team did not need to pre­pare too much for the mys­tery vis­its be­cause they are al­ready stel­lar, in my bi­ased opin­ion,” she said.

Ms Bromell said she was weigh­ing up vis­it­ing the 2019 In­ter­na­tional Wine Tourism Con­fer­ence in Spain or an in­dus­try-based visit to South Africa in April.

“I’m not un­happy with ei­ther of those op­tions,” she said.

The award was an im­por­tant val­i­da­tion of the work at Howard Park, and Ms Bromell com­mended the Mar­garet River Wine As­so­ci­a­tion for in­tro­duc­ing the bur­sary.

“I started at Howard Park as a 23-year-old ca­sual with no ex­pe­ri­ence,” she said.

“I was not aware that this could be forged into a ca­reer, and hav­ing grown up lo­cally, had no idea of the op­por­tu­nity and in­dus­try that sur­rounds us daily.

“This award helps pro­mote wine and tourism as a ca­reer path to lo­cal peo­ple (and) I feel very hum­bled to be the in­au­gu­ral win­ner.”

Other fi­nal­ists for the Mar­garet River-Bus­sel­ton Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion-spon­sored award were Voy­ager Es­tate’s Adam El­ton and Arav­ina Es­tate’s San­dra New­land.

An­other high­light of last week’s awards was a visit from one of the world’s of­fi­cial Mas­ters of Wine, Swe­den-based Made­line Sten­wreth, who heaped fur­ther hon­ours on Xanadu Wines’ Glenn Goodall with the award for wine of prove­nance.

Also judged by Co­rina Wright and ex-Cape Men­telle wine­maker Rob Mann, the award sin­gled out Xanadu’s Stevens Road Chardon­nay for its 2009, 2012, and 2017 vintages. The award was de­signed to cel­e­brate wines of “ex­cep­tional prove­nance re­flect­ing con­sis­tency of style and qual­ity over time,” she said.

For a full list of win­ners, visit mar­gare­­garet-riv er-wine-show.

Xanadu Wines’ Glenn Goodall with Swedish Mas­ter of Wine Made­line Sten­wreth.

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