By Amy Looker

The Hunter Valley Wine Industry Association (HVWIA) has announced the finalists for the 2012 Hunter Valley Wine Industry and Legends Awards.

Now in its sixth year, the awards recognise the achievements of individuals within the Hunter Valley’s wine industry, including the Laffort Winemaker of the Year, the Riedel Rising Star of the Year, the Compost for Soils Viticulturist of the Year, and the CBA Local Business Banking Cellar Door of the Year.

HVWIA president and winemaker, Andrew Margan, said the calibre of the nominees reflected the quality of the region as a whole.

“It’s important to celebrate the new blood that is running through this well-respected wine region, and the excellent work they are doing to help maintain what the Hunter Valley is well known for, great quality wine,” Margan said.

“The calibre of the candidates each year is outstanding, and there could have easily been many finalists in each category. All of them should be congratulated.”

The finalists are judged by a panel of industry experts that includes past winners and a guest media judge.

The awards will be presented on Thursday, 24 May at Lindeman’s winery, culminating in the induction of a new Living Legend, which is awarded in acknowledgement of a lifetime of service to the Hunter Valley.

Previous Legends Inductees include Max Drayton (2007), John Tulloch (2007), Karl Stockhausen (2007), Perc McGuigan (2007), Max Lake (2007), Brian Walsh (2007), Brian McGuigan (2008), Jay Tulloch (2009), Bruce Tyrrell (2009), Fay McGuigan (2009), Phil Ryan (2009), Christopher Barnes AM (2010), and Don McWilliam (2011).

The finalists in the 2012 Hunter Valley Wine Industry and Legends Awards are:

The Laffort Winemaker of the Year:

Jim Chatto – Pepper Tree Wines
Peter Hall – McGuigan Wines
Nick Paterson – Dogliani Winemaking & Consulting
Usher Tinkler – Poole's Rock Wines & Tinklers 

The Riedel Rising Star of the Year:

Sally Scarborough –Scarborough Wines Co
Chris Tyrrell – Tyrrell’s Wines
Phil LeMessurier – Thomas Wines

The Compost for Soils Viticulturist of the Year:

Carl Davies – Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard
Phil Swannell – Pokolbin Estate Vineyard and Belebula Vineyard 

The CBA Local Business Banking Cellar Door of the Year:

Ballabourneen Wine Company
Hungerford Hill Wines
Margan Family Wines

The Shout Team

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