South Australian and Western Australian wine producers have dominated this year’s Royal Adelaide Wine Show, taking out 17 of the 23 top honours between them.

South Australian labels were awarded 10 trophies in total, including the Outstanding Wine of Provenance prize, which went to Clare Valley’s Leo Buring for their Leonay Riesling (2020, 2015, 2005).

Another Riesling – Henschke’s Julius Riesling 2017 – took out the Best South Australian White Wine trophy, as well as the trophy for the Best Riesling In Show.

Producers from Margaret River in Western Australia were honoured with the awards for both the best red and white wines overall.

Flametree’s SRS Wallcliffe Chardonnay 2019 won the George Fairbrother trophy for Most Outstanding White Wine In Show, and Blackstone’s Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 took out the Max Schubert trophy for Most Outstanding Red Wine In Show.

Another Margaret River winery, Deep Woods Estate, won two trophies, for Best Dry White Blend and Best Other Red Blend, backing up their four trophy haul at last year’s Royal Adelaide Wine Show.

The Adelaide Hills were also strongly represented, with Riposte Wines winning the Sauvignon Blanc class with The Foil 2020, Wines by Geoff Hardy taking out Best Other Varietal White with their Gruner Veltliner 2019, and Deviation Road securing the trophy for Best Sparkling with their Beltana Blanc de Blancs 2013 – a bottle of which will set you back about $95.

There are winners at all price points, however, including the Signature Series McLaren Vale G-19 Grenache 2019 from Robert Oatley, which won the Best Grenache and Best South Australian Red Wine trophies and costs about $23 per bottle.

Other South Australian red wines to win trophies included Generations Malbec 2019 from Bleasdale, which won the Best Other Varietal Red class, and the Cabernet Shiraz 2018 from St Hugo, which took out the Best Traditional Australian Red Blend prize.

Trophy winners beat a total field of more than 2800 entries in this year’s Royal Adelaide Wine Show – the highest number of entries since 2012.

There are plenty of other winners too, with 179 entries taking out gold medals, 330 winning silver and 880 awarded bronze.

Judging took place over five days, with 30 judges across six panels sampling all wines “blind”, and re-tasting the best wines to determine the gold medallists and trophy winners.

To minimise the risk of COVID 19 transmission, stewards and anyone handling wine wore masks and gloves, and a new machine was installed to dry the more than 5000 glasses washed each day so that they did not have to be dried by hand.

Organisers also utilised the expansive pavilions at the Adelaide Showgrounds to space judges further apart, and thorough wash-downs were performed between the judging of each class and at the end of the day.

Committee Chair Greg Follett said the judging process was rigorous and trophy winners should be proud of their achievement: “For a wine to get up for a trophy one of the judges had to really like it in the beginning”.

“Then when it is called back it has to be liked by a lot of judges and brought forward, and then it has to get ahead of the other wines that have made it into that gold medal range, and then all the judges have to run through it again to pull it up for a trophy, so there’s a lot of checks and balances for a wine to get up to that level.”

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