THE top 50 finalists have been named for 2021 Vineyard of the Year, with SA leading the way, with 20 included in the list.
The Vineyard of the Year Awards were created in 2020 to place vineyards across the nation at the heart of the Australian wine story, and the heart of the Australian wine community.
Out of more than 6000 grapegrowers, judges have narrowed the field to 50, looking at those exhibiting sustainability, innovation and growing great wine.
Awards panellist Max Allen said there was a lot of great work being done in vineyards across the country and that message needed to get out to wine drinkers.
Fellow panellist Mary Retallack said vineyards were "where the magic happens".
"This is our opportunity to celebrate the innovative and regenerative approaches being taken to produce exceptional grape quality, which is reflected in stunning wines while nurturing the soil, vines and landscapes with an ecological focus," she said.
"The wine community relies on the commitment and inspiration that starts in the vineyard. We have a lot to be thankful for and celebrate!"
The 50 finalists in the 2021 Vineyard of the Year Awards include 20 from SA, 11 from Vic, eight from NSW/ACT, seven from Tas and four from WA.
Each of the vineyards - and the viticulturalists behind them - will be profiled on younggunofwine.com throughout the next two months.
"It is possible to grow amazing quality fruit while nurturing the land, and they are mutually compatible processes," Dr Retallack said.
"Consumers are increasingly interested to learn about ways we are demonstrating environmental stewardship.
We are well placed to share these insights and stories with our customers - the proof is in the bottle."
Swinney Vineyard's Lee Haselgrove, Frankland River, WA, was the inaugural trophy winner, and joins the judging panel this year.
"Seeing such a combination of practices being undertaken in the pursuit of producing complex and engaging wines - via diversity in clones, soils, sites, planting densities, etc - through the energy and efforts of the top growers was truly inspiring," he said.
"Organic farming is no longer niche and some of the new vineyards are absolutely inspiring."
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Dr Retallack said she was absolutely inspired by the holistic approach that winegrowers are taking to fully integrate their practices, nurture the soil, vines and surrounding ecology while minimising intervention.
"Smart decision making saves time and resources, and this demonstrates a confidence in growing wine grapes that comes with experience and observing the land," she said.
"The sharing of these valuable insights accelerates practice change, celebrates regenerative approaches and everyone benefits."
Beside celebrating the achievements of 2021's Top 50, there are four trophies to be awarded, with the winners announced in February 2022.
The finalists are:
- Adelina, Clare Valley (Col McBryde & Michael Maloney)
- Alkina, Barossa Valley (Johnny Schuster & Amelia Nolan)
- Coriole, McLaren Vale (Mark Bates)
- Eden Hall, Eden Valley (Dan Falkenberg)
- Gemtree, McLaren Vale (Melissa Brown)
- Grindstone, Wrattonbully (Susie Harris)
- Grosset - Watervale, Clare Valley (Matthew O'Rourke)
- Hayes Family - Stone Well, Barossa Valley (Brett Hayes)
- Henschke - Hill of Grace, Eden Valley (Prue Henschke)
- Inkwell, McLaren Vale (Dudley Brown & Irina Santiago-Brown)
- Kalleske, Barossa Valley (Kym Kalleske)
- Lacey Vineyards - Branson Road, McLaren Vale (Ben Lacey)
- Markaranka, Riverland (Brendan Turner)
- Mérite, Wrattonbully (Mike Kloak)
- Ngeringa - Summit, Adelaide Hills (Erinn Klein)
- Oliver's Taranga, McLaren Vale (Don Oliver)
- Orbis, McLaren Vale (Andrew Mackenzie & Richard Leask)
- Smallfry - Vine Vale, Barossa Valley (Wayne Ahrens & Suzi Hilder)
- Starrs Reach, Riverland (Sheridan Alm)
- Yangarra Estate, McLaren Vale (Michael Lane)
- Cobaw Ridge, Macedon Ranges (Alan Cooper)
- Lake Moodemere, Rutherglen (Joel Chambers)
- Lethbridge, Geelong (Ray Nadeson)
- Place of Changing Winds, Macedon Ranges (Remi Jacquemain & Robert Walters)
- Quealy - Winery Vineyard, Mornington Peninsula (Lucas Blanck)
- Seppelt - Drumborg, Henty (Larry Sadler)
- Solitude Estate, Yarra Valley (Greg Kerr)
- Tellurian, Heathcote (Tobias Ansted)
- Ten Minutes by Tractor - Spedding, Mornington Peninsula (Ryan Chabin & Imogen Dillon)
- Thousand Candles, Yarra Valley (Stuart Proud)
- Weathercraft - Jones Ridge, Beechworth (Raquel Jones)
- Brokenwood - Graveyard Vineyard, Hunter Valley (Katrina Barry)
- Margan - Ceres Hill, Broke Fordwich, Hunter Valley (Andrew Margan)
- Mount Majura Vineyard, Canberra District (Leo Quirk)
- See Saw - Annangrove Park, Orange (Brendan Jarrett)
- Tamburlaine - Borenore, Orange (Mark Pengilly & Clayton Kiely)
- Topper's Mountain, New England Australia (Mark Kirkby)
- Keith Tulloch - Field of Mars, Hunter Valley (Brent Hutton)
- Vinden - Somerset, Pokolbin, Hunter Valley (Angus Vinden)
- Devil's Corner, East Coast (Daniel Watson)
- Ghost Rock, Cradle Coast (Izaak Perkins)
- Marion's Vineyard, Tamar Valley (Cynthea Semmens)
- Mewstone, D'Entrecasteaux Channel (Luke Andree)
- Pooley - Cooinda Vale, Coal River Valley (Hannah Mckay)
- Small Wonder, Tamar Valley (Ryan Collins)
- Stefano Lubiana, Derwent Valley (Steve Lubiana)
- Deep Woods Estate, Margaret River (John Fogarty)
- McHenry Hohnen - Hazel's Vineyard, Margaret River (Simon Keall)
- Vasse Felix - Tom's Vineyard, Margaret River (Bart Molony)
- Voyager Estate, Margaret River (Steve James)
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