The Riverina has no shortage of accolades, with its collection of wineries proving they have what it takes to compete on a national and international level.
And McWilliam's Winery in Hanwood has just shown they sitting there with the best, taking out the Australian Wine of the Year at the recent 2019 China Wine and Spirits Awards (CWSA) Best Value competition with their 2018 Hanwood Estate Shiraz.
And while taking out the top gong, the drop also took home a Double Gold Medal, combined with four other wines collecting gold as well including Hanwood Estate's Merlot 2017, Chardonnay 2018, Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 and Cabernet Merlot 2017.
Chief winemaker Andrew Higgins said the Wine of the Year wins gave great recognition for the team at McWilliam's, but also served as another way to showcase the Riverina region as a whole.
“The team have really been thrilled at the success these wines have seen particularly on the international show circuit including China and the US," Mr Higgins said.
"The collection of awards is truly great for McWilliam's, but it’s really great for the Riverina area. That’s the big thing, so we are happy and proud to get this wine up to such a larger board."
With the difficulties facing the wine industry with hot, dry conditions making the current vintage finish fast, Mr Higgins said the harvest so far was still looking good - despite a few scary moments. He said this vintage is set to be "quite unique".
"Every year is different - I don’t know what this vintage akin to - it’s quite a fast finish and 2016 was a fast finish, but I think the heat we’ve had and the dryness we’ve had will differentiate it."
He said the vines are starting to recover now with cooler overnight temperatures, ramping up the ripening which while may be a logistical challenge, is proving full of potential.
"We still should have plenty of intensity in the reds, with good, ripe fruit flavours, its the ability to get all the fruit off when it needs to, that is the scary part, without some getting overripe.
"We knew it was going to be a fast finish, but it always gets you a little bit by surprise."
The CWSA has been labelled the most influential wine and spirits competition in the world, helping to sell a 90 million bottles per year.
Long renowned internationally as the biggest and most prestigious wine and spirits competition in China, CWSA Judges are the most powerful buyers in China.
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