A local winery is looking to the future after claiming their first award for their wine with success in an international wine competition.
Bilbul-based Blackgate Estate has seen success right off the bat, with their first range release named among the gold medal winners at the 2020 China Wine and Spirit Best Value Awards, with the winery claiming success with their 2019 Traveller Shiraz.
The business - now run by brothers Zeyad and Danny Nehme - had been growing and supplying wineries with grapes since the 1970s, but Blackgate Estate co-owner Zeyad Nehme said it had been a long-time goal of the family to produce their own wine.
"It was my late father's [George Nehme] dream to put his wine in a bottle and it's been ten years in the making," Zeyad Nehme said.
"It's good to know that someone from the other side of the world has judged our wine and it's been recognised amongst the rest of the wines.
"We know it's coming from our own source and bottling it so we know its all there, it's all ours."
Fellow co-owner Danny Nehme said it was an achievement to secure a medal.
"It's an honour to get an award for what we've done," Danny Nehme said.
"We want to thank everybody that's helped us put it in a bottle."
Zeyad Nehme said there is "still a lot more to come" from the winery, with plans to expand their range over the course of the 2020 vintage and find more locations to sell their wines.
Blackgate's Shiraz was part of a handful of Riverina-grown and produced wines to pick up medals at the competition, with Nugan Estate also picking up a gold for their 2016 Manuka Grove Durif, while McWilliam's claimed golds for their 2018 Hanwood Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and their 2019 Hanwood Estate Shiraz.
Riverina-based wineries put in a strong showing at the event, with medal wins also coming for Berton Vineyards, Casella Family Brands, Calabria Family Wines and De Bortoli Wines.