WINERY EARNS MAJOR PRIZE
Riversands liqueur crowned grand champ
RIVERSANDS Winery in St George is raising a glass of its Golden Liqueur Muscat.
That’s because the celebrated wine has just picked up the gold medal at the 2018 Queensland Wine Awards in Brisbane.
The Golden Liqueuer, which took out the fortified wine category covering ports, sherries and all forms of liqueurs, continues a rich legacy for the Riversand Winery when it comes to producing fortified wine.
Riversands Owner, David Blacket said the award was made sweeter by the difficulty of the achievement with Queensland known for producing some outstanding wines.
“It’s always a thrill winning any award including this one – they don’t come easy,” he laughed.
“It confirms the Balonne as a good area for growing fortified wine which we’ve known for a long time but these awards are always confirmation that we can still punch above our weight in the west, that a small winery of our size can still mix it with the big boys.”
As with most wine competitions, the judges were given a blind tasting of each wine with the judges liking the sweetness of the Golden Muscat.
Mr Blacket said the key to producing good wine and specifically the Golden Muscat, partly lied in the geographic location of the winery in southwest Queensland, with heat playing a huge part in the overall taste.
“With any fortified wine, the secret is to hang the fruit until it’s heavily raisoned,” he said.
“The Muscat is carries very concentrated flavours and you need a lot of heat to do that and we certainly get the heat out in the west which is why we can get good fortified wine.
“The heat does a great job of ripening the fruit and can get really high sugar levels so with the Golden Muscat, we let it hang right until the end of the season so that when you try the fruit, it tastes just like raisins.
“That’s why when you try the wine, you got those raison flavours plus a hint of honey and lychee and a bit of butterscotch flavours which come partly from the fruit and partly from the ageing of the oak barrels.”
Mr Blacket said Fortified wine could only be produced in warmer regions – which was why the southwest had a rich legacy.
“You have to have a reasonably warmer climate that can get the fruit to
❝It confirms the Balonne as a good area for growing fortified wine. — Riversands Owner, David Blacket
produce very highly concentrated sugar levels which is why you won’t get fortifieds from Tasmania or New Zealand - it is just too cold,” he said.
“You certainly get plenty of warmth out here most years which is why Romavilla was renowned for fortified wine through its ports and liqueurs because they shared similar conditions to us down here in St George.”
GOOD DROP: English worker Sarah Millar with the Golden Liqeuer Muscat which was awarded Grand Champion in Brisbane at the Queensland Wine Awards.