The Vineyard of the Year Awards were created last year to showcase Australia’s grape-growing community and the 2021 Top 50 have been revealed.
The Top 50 were chosen by a group of leading experts on viticulture, comprising Dr Catherine Kidman, Mark Walpole, Dr Mary Retallack, Lee Haselgrove and Max Allen.
The judges narrowed the field to the 50 that best exemplified the values of sustainability, innovation and growing great wine.
Allen said: “There’s so much great work being done in vineyards across the country, and wine drinkers still don’t hear about it often enough – but we’re trying to change that.”
The 50 finalists in the 2021 Vineyard of the Year Awards include 20 from South Australia, 11 from Victoria, eight from New South Wales/ACT, seven from Tasmania and four from Western Australia.
Over the next two months, younggunofwine.com will release a profile of each of these vineyards, and the viticulturists/growers behind them.
Dr Retallack added: “In the vineyard is where the magic happens.
“This is our opportunity to celebrate the innovative and regenerative approaches being taken to produce exceptional grape quality, which is reflected in stunning wines while nurturing the soil, vines and landscapes with an ecological focus. The wine community relies on the commitment and inspiration that starts in the vineyard. We have a lot to be thankful for and celebrate.
“It is possible to grow amazing quality fruit while nurturing the land, and they are mutually compatible processes.
“Consumers are increasingly interested to learn about ways we are demonstrating environmental stewardship. We are well placed to share these insights and stories with our customers – the proof is in the bottle. The VOTY finalists are leading the way and the future of wine growing is truly exciting.”
Allen concluded: “The panel were struck again this year by the detailed focus and commitment of so many growers across Australia – whether it’s focusing on capturing subtle terroir differences across a larger block of vines or responding to the challenges of climate change; whether it’s establishing a visionary new vineyard or maintaining the health and viability of century-old vines; whether it’s applying the latest technology or re-introducing ancient grape-farming methods, there are many inspirational stories out there.”
Beside celebrating the achievements of 2021’s Top 50, there are four trophies to be awarded, with the winners announced in February 2022.
The Top 50 Finalists in the 2021 Vineyard of the Year Awards:
- Adelina, Clare Valley (Col McBryde & Michael Maloney)
- Alkina, Barossa Valley (Johnny Schuster & Amelia Nolan)
- Coriole, McLaren Vale (Mark Bates)
- Eden Hall, Eden Valley (Dan Falkenberg)
- Gemtree, McLaren Vale (Melissa Brown)
- Grindstone, Wrattonbully (Susie Harris)
- Grosset – Watervale, Clare Valley (Matthew O’Rourke)
- Hayes Family – Stone Well, Barossa Valley (Brett Hayes)
- Henschke – Hill of Grace, Eden Valley (Prue Henschke)
- Inkwell, McLaren Vale (Dudley Brown & Irina Santiago-Brown)
- Kalleske, Barossa Valley (Kym Kalleske)
- Lacey Vineyards – Branson Road, McLaren Vale (Ben Lacey)
- Markaranka, Riverland (Brendan Turner)
- Mérite, Wrattonbully (Mike Kloak)
- Ngeringa – Summit, Adelaide Hills (Erinn Klein)
- Oliver’s Taranga, McLaren Vale (Don Oliver)
- Orbis, McLaren Vale (Andrew Mackenzie & Richard Leask)
- Smallfry – Vine Vale, Barossa Valley (Wayne Ahrens & Suzi Hilder)
- Starrs Reach, Riverland (Sheridan Alm)
- Yangarra Estate, McLaren Vale (Michael Lane)
- Cobaw Ridge, Macedon Ranges (Alan Cooper)
- Lake Moodemere, Rutherglen (Joel Chambers)
- Lethbridge, Geelong (Ray Nadeson)
- Place of Changing Winds, Macedon Ranges (Remi Jacquemain & Robert Walters)
- Quealy – Winery Vineyard, Mornington Peninsula (Lucas Blanck)
- Seppelt – Drumborg, Henty (Larry Sadler)
- Solitude Estate, Yarra Valley (Greg Kerr)
- Tellurian, Heathcote (Tobias Ansted)
- Ten Minutes by Tractor – Spedding, Mornington Peninsula (Ryan Chabin & Imogen Dillon)
- Thousand Candles, Yarra Valley (Stuart Proud)
- Weathercraft – Jones Ridge, Beechworth (Raquel Jones)
New South Wales/ACT
- Brokenwood – Graveyard Vineyard, Hunter Valley (Katrina Barry)
- Margan – Ceres Hill, Broke Fordwich, Hunter Valley (Andrew Margan)
- Mount Majura Vineyard, Canberra District (Leo Quirk)
- See Saw – Annangrove Park, Orange (Brendan Jarrett)
- Tamburlaine – Borenore, Orange (Mark Pengilly & Clayton Kiely)
- Topper’s Mountain, New England Australia (Mark Kirkby)
- Keith Tulloch – Field of Mars, Hunter Valley (Brent Hutton)
- Vinden – Somerset, Pokolbin, Hunter Valley (Angus Vinden)
- Devil’s Corner, East Coast (Daniel Watson)
- Ghost Rock, Cradle Coast (Izaak Perkins)
- Marion’s Vineyard, Tamar Valley (Cynthea Semmens)
- Mewstone, D’Entrecasteaux Channel (Luke Andree)
- Pooley – Cooinda Vale, Coal River Valley (Hannah Mckay)
- Small Wonder, Tamar Valley (Ryan Collins)
- Stefano Lubiana, Derwent Valley (Steve Lubiana)
- Deep Woods Estate, Margaret River (John Fogarty)
- McHenry Hohnen – Hazel’s Vineyard, Margaret River (Simon Keall)
- Vasse Felix – Tom’s Vineyard, Margaret River (Bart Molony)
- Voyager Estate, Margaret River (Steve James)