Judge gives our wines thumbs-up

THE quality of wine produced in the Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands has improved dramatically in the past 10 years, according to acclaimed winemaker David Morris.

The judge of the South Coast Wine Show for more than a decade, Mr Morris said there had been dramatic changes in the standard of wines put forward for judging.

“I think the reds in particular have improved,” Mr Morris said from his winery in Rutherglen, Victoria.

“From 10 years ago to five years ago there was remarkable improvement, and that was the benefit of the shows, of being able to get together with other winemakers, see what people were doing well, get feedback from the judges and benchmark their wines.

“If you haven’t done so well at the show you can look at your wine compared to the others.

“The past five years there has been continued improvement, but it has not been as dramatic.

“However, it’s been a pretty strong show.”

Mr Morris said the Shoalhaven had been producing some outstanding semillons in recent years, while rieslings from the Southern Highlands had also been exceptional.

That had been another change because “we were hardly getting a riesling entered in the early days,” Mr Morris said.

The entry range had expanded in the ensuing years to include unusual wines, and Mr Morris said, “There are quite a few wineries doing well with non-mainstream varieties.”

Nearly half the wines in last year’s show were awarded medals, and Mr Morris said anything receiving a medal would probably receive the same medal at any wine show in the world.

People are being offered a chance to sample the best wines in the region, along with speaking to winemakers and judges about the different qualities and characteristics of wine varieties, on Friday, January 24, during a function at the Mollymook Golf Club from 7pm to 9pm

Tickets are $25 and include an etched tasting glass to use while sampling all the wines entered in the show.

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