South Australian winery Henschke was named the 2021 New World Winery of the Year in Wine Enthusiast’s Wine Star Awards.

Now in its 22nd year, the global awards recognise outstanding contributions to the worldwide beverage industry across 16 categories.

Winners at the Wine Star Awards are selected by Wine Enthusiast’s Executive Publishing team against criteria including impact on consumers and trade, commercial successes, brand vision, and trendsetting.

Henschke was among a handful of Australian people and companies nominated in this year’s awards. Christina Pickard, Contributing Editor at Wine Enthusiast cited the winery’s storied history and family ownership when assessing its contribution.

Pickard said: “The Henschke family has been making wine for more than 150 years in South Australia. Fifth-generation Stephen Henschke is at the winemaking helm. His wife, Prue, is a renowned viticulturist, with the sixth generation in children Johann, Justine and Andreas also involved in running the business.”

She also pointed to Henscke’s legendary Hill of Grace vineyard, and its recent 2016 vintage, as factors in the award win. The 2017 vintage of Henschke Hill of Grace is due for release in May of next year.

“Last year, the Henschke Lenswood Vineyard in the Adelaide Hills was destroyed by wildfires, yet life goes on—the vines are regenerating with a hopeful 2022 vintage. Henschke is among the most important and revered winemaking names in Australia, representing the country’s rich history, winemaking tradition, strong environmental values and innovation,” Pickard concluded.

Stephen Henschke said the family was “absolutely honoured” to take out the award.

“To be one of only two Australian wine brands nominated in 2021 by such a highly respected international publication was wonderful news and we’re extremely proud to be representing family-owned wineries of Australia, with strong environmental values and a passion for hand-crafted, high-quality wines from precious, historic vineyards,” he added.

“Our philosophy has always been to be ‘better’ rather than ‘bigger’. My father Cyril, fourth-generation Henschke winemaker, pioneered single-varietal and single-vineyard wines, with his greatest legacy being the creation of Mount Edelstone and Hill of Grace in the 1950s; shiraz wines from the Eden Valley that have become an integral part of Australia’s fine wine history.”

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