SOUTH AUSTRALIA, home to the nation’s largest collection of wine growing regions, has
reaffirmed its place as the matriarch of Australian wine, with its diversity of grape varieties and
exceptional wine quality, contributing to its overwhelming success at the 2021 Australian Organic
Wine Industry Awards.
Winemakers from four of the State’s wine regions brought home the Wine of Show, Red of Show
and White of Show at the annual awards, as well as a series of medals for Riesling, Chardonnay,
Syrah, Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Grenache Blanc. In doing so, South Australia’s reputation for
producing premium organic and biodynamic wine was firmly cemented.
The 2021 Australian Organic Wine Industry Awards were announced on Friday 8 April. In total, 53
organic and biodynamic wine producers from 38 regions across Australia submitted 238 bottles of
the nation’s finest organic wines for judging in the Awards program.
The record number of entries showcased 75 varieties of grapes across eight vintages, with the
winners and medalists decided by an eminent panel of wine judges including Mike Bennie, Alex
McPherson, Josh Martin, Ramon Arnavas, Lilly Heenan and Millie Gosney, joined by Olivia Evans,
inaugural recipient of the Australian Organic Wine Awards Associate Scholarship.
Accolades for Adelaide Hills’ Ngeringa wines
A short drive from the bustling South Australian capital is the spectacular Adelaide Hills. Its rolling
hills are ideal for planting vines and have earned the region its undisputed reputation as one of
Australia’s best cool-climate wine regions.
Taking home the coveted Cullen Trophy for Wine of Show and Red of Show was a full-bodied
2019 Ngeringa Single Vineyard Iluma Syrah, produced from grapes grown at an altitude of 420m
on the northern slope of Mount Barker.
Ngeringa also picked up Gold Medals for its 2019 Ngeringa Pinot Noir and 2018 Ngeringa Single
Vineyard Summit Chardonnay, showcasing its diverse repertoire of varietals.
Ngeringa’s wine maker, Erinn Klein, said the Adelaide Hills was a special place to grow and make
wine, with each of the winery’s vineyards offering unique characters.
“We have relatively high winter rain fall, diverse soils and aspects and a fairly cool climate that
allows us to make wines with amazing freshness and complexity,” Mr Klein said.
“In our east facing Summit Vineyard, we plant select clones of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, along
with a few clones of Syrah.
“Our Rufus Vineyard has a small planting of Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Syrah and Aglianico, while our
west facing Iluma Vineyard is home to our most inspiring and exciting fruit with the majority of our
Syrah and Viognier planted here.”
White of Show for Barossa Grenache Blanc
The Barossa Valley is renowned as custodian to the world’s oldest vines and full flavoured reds,
however it was a young Grenache Blanc grown on the farmed Western Ridge of the region by
Tscharke Wines that made headlines at the Awards, collecting the esteemed White of Show and a
Tscharke Wines owner, Damien Tscharke, said the family was a proud pioneer of the grape
variety, with the award-winning 2020 Gnadenfrei White produced from vines grown under strict
organic and biodynamic certification.
“Our entire estate has been certified both organic and biodynamic since early 2019 and the
Gnadenfrei White is a reflection of years of dedication and care in the vineyard,” Mr Tscharke said.
“It’s a gem of a variety and thrives in arid conditions, which lends itself beautifully to growing under organic management.”
Italian born winemaker Marco De Martino said he was delighted the Gnadenfrei White won the
White Wine of Show Award.
“The Award win adds to the growing list of accolades we’ve received for the Gnadenfrei White,
which is a pretty special wine,” Mr De Martino said.
“Our winemaking is guided by the vineyard during the growing season, and for the most part we let the wine just be in the cellar.”
Clare Valley and Currency Creek crack Gold Medals
Clare Valley requires no introduction to its reputation for producing exceptional, world-class
Showcasing her craftmanship by receiving a Gold Medal for her 2021 Mount Horrocks Watervale
Riesling is Stephanie Toole, well-respected owner and talented winemaker of Mount Horrocks
Certified as an organic winery in 2014, the Mount Horrocks vineyard produces approximately 2,500 cases of wine per annum and Stephanie is unwavering in her commitment to managing her vines and soils sustainably.
“We manage the vineyard incredibly well to ensure the vines are pruned and trained upwards to
give more airflow, create less canopy and reduce diseases,” Ms Toole said.
“Chemicals and pesticides didn’t sit well with me, and so I made a conscious decision a long time
ago to produce organic wines, and the certification adds authenticity and accountability to my
Further south, on the Fleurieu Peninsula, the Currency Creek wine region accounts for just one per
cent of South Australia’s vineyards. With only 1,032 total hectares of vineyards planted across the
region, the quality of winemaking at Switch Organic Wines was recognised with a Gold Medal for
their 2016 Shiraz.
A video announcing winners of the 2021 Awards has been uploaded to the AOL YouTube page.
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