By James Atkinson
Both the champion white and red wines of the Hunter Valley Wine Show were from named vineyards, which chair of judges Jim Chatto says demonstrates an increased emphasis on the region's individual sites.
At Friday's awards lunch, Meerea Park Terracotta Semillon 2006 was awarded the Petrie-Drinan Trophy for Best Dry White Wine of the Show and De Iuliis Steven Vineyard Shiraz 2011 took out the Doug Seabrook Memorial Trophy for Best Dry Red Wine of the Show.
Chatto told TheShout it was "fantastic" to see that both champion wines were from individual vineyards.
"You do get that distinct personality with the named vineyard wines," he said.
"There has been a real changing of the guard. That's not taking anything away from the producers that have been there for a very long time, but it's pretty exciting times," he said.
International Judge Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW said the Hunter's unique styles of Shirazes, Semillons and Chardonnays were a pleasure to judge, "and believe me I don’t say that at every show".
"The best wines demonstrated purity, perfume and elegance as only the Hunter Valley can achieve," she said.
Andrew Margan, president of the Hunter Valley Wine Industry Association, told TheShout the region now has a fantastic opportunity to capitalise on its outstanding 2011 vintage.
"The rest of Australia had a bit of a disaster, so we're going to hopefully use that to our advantage over the next 12 months," he said.