Cellarmasters’ Margaret River winery Cormack & Co has won the coveted JS Gladstones trophy for its 2016 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc at the Wine Show of Western Australia.
The trophy, sponsored by the Department of Agriculture and Food, is awarded to the wine that shows the best and most distinctive regional character.
The award is in honour of former department researcher Dr John Gladstones, who was a great champion of the regional character of wine produced in WA.
Department Irrigated Agriculture Executive Director, John Ruprecht, said the JS Gladstones trophy highlighted the importance of regional distinctiveness in wine marketing and promotion.
“The great wine regions of the world are defined by the regional characters in their renowned wine varieties and styles, which are influenced greatly by the region’s climate,” Mr Ruprecht said.
“The Gladstones trophy celebrates the viticulturist’s and winemaker’s skill in expressing this ‘sense of place’ through the character in the grapes and the wine production process.”
The judges described Cormack & Co’s 2016 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc as having the clean and fresh aroma of snowpea, with the ripe fruit characters of passionfruit and gooseberry and the waxy-lanolin character from Semillon.
They said the taste was light and textured with a ripe passionfruit and herbaceous character that had a firm and lingering finish.
WA has nine climatically diverse wine regions from which wine varieties and styles have been developed that express the unique character of the region.
These include Verdelho and fortified wines from the Swan Valley, Shiraz and new varieties, such as Temprenillo from Geographe, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Semillon Sauvignon Blanc from Margaret River and Riesling and Shiraz from the Great Southern.
The Semillon Sauvignon Blanc wine blend is regarded as a classic Margaret River style, which has become highly sought after in the growing international marketplace, particularly in nearby Asia.
Wine comprised 25 per cent of WA horticulture exports in 2014-15, worth $42 million.
China is the State’s major customer, followed by the United Kingdom, the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong and Canada.
Grape and wine project manager Glynn Ward said the department had increased its investment in market development in recent years, while maintaining research, science and innovation efforts to help the wine industry to develop.
Mr Ward said the department worked in a number of areas along the whole value chain, from vine to glass, to support the profitable growth and development of the WA wine industry.
“The department has been supporting industry efforts to develop a premium wine export market development strategy and an international marketing program to take WA’s great regional wines to the world, which has been very successful,” he said.
“The collaboration is also developing a strategy and business case to amplify this success and put the industry on a profitable and sustainable path for the future.”