For the first time in its 20-year history, there was a tie for the top awards in Australia's Wine List of the Year.
Presenting partners, premium wine distributor Fine Wine Partners and leading magazine Gourmet Traveller Wine announced that Lake House at Daylesford in country Victoria and Rockpool Bar & Grill, Perth were joint winners of Australia's Wine List of the Year in 2014.
Sommeliers Stacey-Lee Edwards at Lake House and Ian Baverstock of Rockpool Bar & Grill, Perth, both received the Judy Hirst Award for developing and managing their award-winning lists. [continues below]
L-R: Joint winners Ian Baverstock and Stacey-Lee Edwards with Rockpool's Neil Perry
According to chairman of judges, Peter Forrestal, scores throughout the counting for this year were incredibly close.
"The winner is chosen by the 30 members of the international jury who rank the seven finalists. With the votes of three judges to be counted, four points separated the top three lists. Remarkably, two outstanding restaurants ended up with an equal score."
More than 370 restaurants, clubs, pubs, hotels and brasseries entered this year’s awards with 94 achieving the highest rating of three glasses, 149 were awarded two glasses and 121 achieved one glass.
Fine Wine Partners chairman, Rob Hirst congratulated all entrants for the quality of this year’s lists. He commented on the extraordinary growth in the Best Listing of Australian Wines category with 63 per cent more entries this year.
“This is great news for Australian wine producers and interestingly this came with a significant increase in the Best Food and Wine Matching entries, which were up 25 per cent,” he said.
Other trends noted by Judy Sarris, editor, Gourmet Traveller WINE included the rise of wines by the glass listings and an increase in listing of spirits.
“Wines by the glass are on the increase and spirit lists are more exciting than ever with many showcasing the new raft of spirits from Australian producers. Overall lists are showing better balance with due support being given to Aussie winemakers and it’s pleasing to see regional restaurants sourcing local wines to marry with the local ingredients used in their kitchens.”
The full list of winners is available online at winelistoftheyear.com.au.