This week, the Riverina Winemakers Association held their 2018 wine shows to find the best of the best in Riverina’s wines.
Almost 1000 wines comprising different varieties including reds, whites, and dessert wines were entered.
Among the wine shows this year were the Open Show, Riverina Region Wine Show, Sweet Wine Challenge, Hilltops Wine Show, Tumbarumba Wine Show, and the Australian Italian Varieties Wine Awards.
Chair judge Gabrielle Poy and chief steward Russell Cody took some time out of their day to talk about the show.
“We get all the wines in from the region and they get tasted by the judges,” Mr Cody said.
He explained there were a number of prizes and trophies up for grabs, and though a wine may receive a gold medal, it does not necessarily mean they are the winner.
“In a wine show – it’s not like the Olympics where the first three wines are gold, silver, and bronze – you can have about 40 wines and there might be three or four golds.”
While Mr Cody could not yet reveal the winners, he said “A few local companies have done quite well”.
“We’re seeing a great array of wines, so that’s making it really interesting for judges,” Ms Poy said.
When asked if there was a noticeable distinction in yield and batch at this year’s show, due to the changing seasons and drought, Mr Cody responded:
“I can tell you there would be a difference because 2017 was a very cool year, so a lot of the wines – the whites – are quite good but the reds may be a little bit lean because of that; because they didn’t ripen fully enough.”
“The reds aren’t as big and bright and lush, but the whites are great,” Ms Poy said.
“But that’s also another thing we love about wine vintages – it’s always different, and as winemakers they need to be able to contend with that.
“It makes it more exciting.”
Both Ms Poy and Mr Cody recommend consumers buy their local wineries’ medal winners before they run out of stock as it can be difficult for a winery to replicate a batch; “it all depends on the grape,” Ms Poy said.
“You can utilise the same wood, the same vineyard, the same process in making the wine, but it’ll still never ever be the same,” Mr Cody said.