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Tasmanian chardonnay takes out top honour at Australian Organic Wine Awards 2020

STEFANO Lubiana Wines’ 2018 Estate Chardonnay was awarded the Cullen Trophy Wine of Show at the Australian Organic Wine Awards 2020 at a virtual presentation on Wednesday.

Chairman of Show Judges Ramon Arnavas, who was among the experienced judging panel which also included Josh Martin, Ken Gargett and Alex McPherson, said he was highly impressed by the quality of wines presented.

“The winners for our White and Red categories, we feel, would be dominant performers in any national wine judging show,” Mr Arnavas said.

“All awarded wines showcased varietal characteristics, as well as a great interaction between purity of fruit, acid, texture and winemaking artefacts.”

However, Mr Arnavas, who has more than six years’ experience judging wine competitions in Australia, said there was little deliberation when naming Stefano Lubiana Wines as the overall winner.

Steve and Monique Lubiana, from Stefano Lubiana Wines, were thrilled to win the Cullen
Trophy Wine of Show at the Australian Organic Wine Awards 2020.

“Stefano Lubiana’s 2018 Estate Chardonnay stood out for all the right reasons and would be a strong contender in any chardonnay class,” Mr Arnavas said.

“It had a beautiful balanced interaction between stonefruit and grapefruit notes, bright acidity and struck match reduction, all tied together by a well-judged use of oak.”

Stefano Lubiana Wines’ Monique Lubiana said she was deeply honoured to hear her family had won the award during the virtual presentation. She described the special moment as the culmination of many years of hard work.

“We are thrilled by the recognition as we feel Australia has some of the best organic wine producers in the world,” Mrs Lubiana said.

The fifth and sixth generation wine-making family embraced organic and biodynamic production in 2010 across its vineyards in the Derwent Valley and Huon Valley, which produce 10,000 to 13,000 cases of wine annually.

“We felt growing grapes synthetically didn’t align with our values, and organic and biodynamic production was the next step in creating the very best quality wine,” Mrs Lubiana said.

“We strive for perfection and, for us, producing wine organically and biodynamically is the next phase for achieving a diamond level of quality.”

The Red category was awarded to Victorian producers, brothers Michael and Tony Lee, from Foxeys Hangout, for their 2019 Pinot Noir.

Australian Organic Wine Awards 2020 Chairman of Show Judge, Ramon Arnavas, was
impressed by the high-quality entrants in this year’s competition.

Mr Arnavas remarked the delicate flavour equilibrium made the drop a standout.

“Foxeys was a strong performer in the Pinot class, as it showed a remarkable balance,” he said.

Australian Organic Limited Chief Executive Officer, Niki Ford, congratulated all Australian Organic Wine Awards 2020 winners and finalists.

“The robust quality of entrants has showcased the quality and wide variety of home-grown organic wines our thriving industry is producing,” Ms Ford said.

“Organic wines are highly sought after around the world and this competition allowed our hard-working producers to benchmark their best drops in a bespoke competition.”

Ms Ford said the success of this year’s event would secure the Award’s position as an annual competition and, moving forward, the judging panel will welcome Mike Bennie as the Chairman of the Show Judges.

“It’s our ambition for the Australian Organic Wine Awards to become a legacy event, it’s always timely to celebrate the efforts of our vintners,” she said.

The winners will receive a Riedel decanter and a special feature article in Gourmet Traveller WINE.

Wine of Show and Gold Medal winners include:

  • Stefano Lubiana Wines, Cullen Trophy Wine of Show, Best White of Show and Gold Medal
  • Foxeys Hangout, Best Red of Show, and Gold Medal
  • Angove Family Winemakers, Gold Medal
  • Robinvale Wines, Gold Medal

For a full list of winners, see here.