By Andrew Starke
ASC Fine Wines, wine retailer The Wine Way, the Kakadu Bar & Restaurant in Shanghai and freelance wine writer Denis Lin are the inaugural recipients of the Wine Australia Awards.
The winners were announced yesterday (Jan 26) by one of Australia’s leading wine authorities, James Halliday, and the Ambassador to China, Dr Geoff Raby, at an invitation-only wine master class held during the Australia Day celebrations at the Grand Millennium Hotel, Beijing.
Each winner will receive a fully sponsored, 10-day trip to Australia to explore the diversity of wines and wine regions as guests of the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation (AWBC).
The award ceremony was jointly hosted by the AWBC and the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade).
ASC Fine Wine’s CEO, Don St Pierre Jr., said he was honoured by the award, which would mean ‘a great deal’ to everyone in the company.
“It is a profound encouragement for us to continue our strong effort to work together with our Australian wine suppliers, media, Austrade and the AWBC to promote Australian wines as a brand for quality fine wines to the Chinese market,” he said.
“We firmly believe these endeavours will not only benefit ASC but also the Australian wine industry and, ultimately and most importantly, the wine consumers in China.”
The four individual awards are co-hosted by selected well known Australian brands and wine regions, including Penfolds, Jacob’s Creek, Hardys and regions in the state of Victoria.
A judging panel considered applications from across China and held private interviews before making its selections.
The award ceremony preceded a major wine tasting for the wine trade and VIPs featuring more than 200 wines currently available in Beijing from over 50 brands.
China is Australia’s fourth largest wine export destination by both volume and value.