LEAGUE OF OUR OWN

Winer­ies dom­i­nate state com­pe­ti­tion prov­ing Gran­ite Belt is lead­ing the way

Stanthorpe Border Post - - FRONT PAGE -

THE Gran­ite Belt’s wine dom­i­nance has con­tin­ued, with lo­cal vin­tages snar­ing all the big awards at last week’s premier Queens­land wine event.

Banca Ridge, Ridgemill Es­tate, Bal­anc­ing Rock and Hid­den Creek all picked up awards at the 35th an­nual Queens­land Wine Awards in Bris­bane last Wed­nes­day.

Cham­pion Wine of Show went to Bal­anc­ing Rock for their 2015 Sa­grantino.

At 950m above sea level, Bal­anc­ing Rock is one of the na­tion’s high­est vine­yards, and win­ery owner David Broad­bent said the vines pro­duc­ing the win­ning wine were planted 12 years ago.

“It’s a par­tic­u­larly rare va­ri­ety (Sa­grantino). We’re the only grow­ers of it in Queens­land. It’s an out­stand­ing wine. We’re so im­pressed,” he said.

“Be­ing the new kids on the block on the Gran­ite Belt, to get some­thing like this is an ab­so­lute dream.

“It was hum­bling on the night to be con­grat­u­lated by the likes of An­gelo Puglisi and the big play­ers, the peo­ple re­spon­si­ble for es­tab­lish­ing the in­dus­try on the Gran­ite Belt,” he said.

The win­ning wine was made by Mike Hayes, who was also named the Queens­land Wine­maker of the Year.

“This year’s show at­tracted over 160 en­tries and ev­ery wine re­gion in Queens­land was rep­re­sented,” Mr Hayes said.

“One of the in­ter­est­ing com­ments from the chief judge, Tony Harper, who is a na­tional and in­ter­na­tional show judge, was that he’d never seen a bet­ter line-up of va­ri­eties in the white and red class.

“It’s a real re­flec­tion of where we are go­ing as a wine in­dus­try,” Mr Hayes said.

Mr Harper was par­tic­u­larly taken by Hid­den Creek, which was named Queens­land Win­ery of the Year.

Af­ter claim­ing two golds, a sil­ver, a bronze and the Prove­nance Award (three out­stand­ing wines of the same va­ri­ety), Hid­den Creek was the de­served win­ner.

Win­ery owner Andy Wil­liams also snagged him­self an in­di­vid­ual ac­co­lade – Viti­cul­tur­ist of the Year.

“I didn’t see that com­ing. It’s an ac­co­lade I wasn’t ex­pect­ing. Nice to be re­warded and ac­knowl­edged for all the hard work I’ve put in,” he said.

“The awards are great for our brand and great for the Gran­ite Belt.”

Re­gional Flavours was named Event of the Year.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

BIG WIN: David and Lori Broad­bent from Bal­anc­ing Rock Wines with son Luke. The fam­ily is cel­e­brat­ing their win at the Queens­land Wine Awards.

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