Chardonnays among top wines
FORTIFIED wines thrived in their long stand as the largest range judged anywhere in Australia at last week’s Rutherglen Wine Show.
The 130 year-old event held at the town’s showgrounds in Henderson Pavilion is one of the most highly regarded and oldest known wine shows around the nation.
Held in conjunction with the Australian Fortified Wine Show, the event attracted 1000 entries this year with 850 table wines, and 150 fortified wines for which Rutherglen is world-renowned.
Show committee and judges’ panel chair and Pfeiffer Wines managing partner and senior winemaker Chris Pfeiffer said a high number of entries had been received from Victoria.
“This year we’ve seen the Chardonnays do well in the whites having strong entries in their classes and the 2016 red vintages being exciting wines,” he said.
“The show has also become a niche for fortified wines.”
Mr Pfeiffer said the show helped exhibitors with feedback and guidance on their viticulture and winemaking.
With Prosecco wines introduced to the event last year and judged for the second time, Mr Pfeiffer said the show created an opportunity particularly for winemakers in the King Valley region to receive evaluations about their wines.
He also said an Australian focus on high value overseas markets had led to significant growth in China creating a $1 billion export market over the last five years.
“The highest cost per litre of exported wine is going to China.”
Mr Pfeiffer said this year’s wine vintage had seen grape prices slightly rise as the opportunity from the export growth had flowed down the chain to growers.
With economics important in vineyards for business sustainability, Mr Pfeiffer said the Australian wine industry faced competition against overseas subsidised ones.
“We have the highest labour costs in the world so our vineyards and wineries have to be efficient,” he said.
Mr Pfeiffer said tourism in Victoria’s North East was significant for the wine industry.
The judging panel – three teams of three winemakers – came from Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia with associate judges in training from Charles Sturt and Adelaide universities, as well as local winemakers. Judging took place over four days. Last week’s wine assessment is followed with an award dinner at the town’s Memorial Hall tonight and a public tasting tomorrow evening at the Henderson Pavilion where wine enthusiasts have a chance to try the entries.
Tickets for the 6.30pm Friday tasting can be booked with Agricultural Show secretary Di O’Dwyer on 0409 901 488, or (02) 6032 8044 or at email@example.com
The annual September wine show is a combined Rutherglen Agricultural Society and Winemakers of Rutherglen event.
TASTE TEST: Show committee and judges’ panel chair and Pfeiffer Wines managing partner and senior winemaker Chris Pfeiffer (left) with Morris Wines’ chief winemaker David Morris judging red wines at the Rutherglen Wine Show last week.