Clare Valley Riesling Wins Award For Australia’s Best Wine

Hot on the heels of winning a hat trick at the Clare Valley Wine Show, Jim Barry Wines 2012 Lodge Hill Riesling has swept all before it, last night being acknowledged as the best wine in Australia, at the Dan Murphy’s National Wine Show in Canberra.

Peter Barry accepted the Len Evans Memorial Trophy for the Best Table Wine of the Show in the Great Hall of Parliament House, saying it was a victory “not just for our Lodge Hill vineyard but Clare Riesling.”

“This is the first time the Len Evan’s Memorial Trophy has been awarded to a current vintage Riesling and also the first time a Clare Valley winery has won. It’s very exciting, this is the highest award we’ve ever won,” Peter said.

To enter the National Wine Show Premium Gold Classes wines must have won a gold medal at another Australian capital city or regional show. The 2012 Lodge Hill won Best Riesling, Best White Wine and Best Wine of the Show at the Clare Valley Wine Show two weeks ago.

Now it has repeated the same stellar form in Canberra being judged Best Riesling – Premium Classes, Best Dry White Table Wine and then Best Wine of the Show.
Peter said it was a nostalgic moment as the last time he had accepted a trophy at the national show in Canberra was from from Len Evans himself in 1989.

“23 years is a long time between drinks but it is all worth it having our Riesling named the best wine in Australia, against such prestigious competition,” he said.
“It’s the seventh trophy for this wine – one at Rutherglen, four trophies in Clare and now three in Canberra.

“Clare is acknowledged around the world as Australia’s premier Riesling producing region, and I’m just so proud to be representing it on the national stage, and to be taking back to the Valley Australia’s most sought after trophy.”

The Lodge Hill Vineyard, which was planted by Peter’s father Jim in 1979, has produced a stable of medal winners over its 33 year history.

The Lodge Hill Riesling won the Best Riesling Trophy in Adelaide as far back as 1986 and only last year the 2010 Lodge Hill Riesling won the Douglas Lamb perpetual trophy for best dry-style Riesling at the Sydney Wine Show.

The vineyard also produces superb Shiraz, with the current release 2010 Lodge Hill Shiraz winning four gold medals here and overseas.

“The success is all about the location and elevation,” Peter says. “At 480 metres above sea level it is one of the highest altitude vineyards in Clare and also one of the windiest.

“In summer the winds blow the heat out of the soil and bring the grape temperatures down. This creates elegant red wines and white wines with excellent acid structure and longevity.”

Peter said the shallow slate soils also contributed to the unique flavour profile and longevity of Lodge Hill wines.

“Dad introduced drip irrigation to Clare in 1969. It ensured the vines on these shallow soils received enough water during the harsh summer to yield a quality crop that was not sunburned due to defoliation.

“Drip irrigation allowed growers to plant on slopes with shallower soils. Prior to this they were restricted to the deeper, alluvial soils of the valley or patches of limestone.”

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