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Friday 8 April 2022

Australians excel on the global stage

Regular Gourmet on the Road readers will know that I don't too much faith in wine show results, or claims that a wine, or a gin, is the "best in the world". 

That said, small producers from Australia have this week recorded noteworthy successes on the global stage. 
Gralyn Estate, a tiny Margaret River wine producer, was awarded the prized ‘Wine of the Year’ award at the London Wine Competition for its fortified wine, the Artizan Rare Muscat NV (above).

The wine was also named ‘Best in Show by Country’ and ‘Best Wine of the Year by Quality’ from 1,300 wines that were submitted from 36 countries including Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, New Zealand and Australia.

The Gralyn Estate Artizan Rare Muscat NV has also won 11 other trophies, so it is fair to assume it is a standout. 

Fortified wines are a speciality of Gralyn Estate and The Artizan Rare Muscat NV is produced using a solera system, where younger wines are blended in barrels storing older wines and hence termed non-vintage or NV. The solera in the Artizan Rare Muscat NV dates back 40 years.

Gralyn Estate was founded in Wilyabrup in 1975 and was the first to open a commercial cellar door in Margaret River in 1978. Current owners and winemakers Scott and Annette Baxter took the helm of Gralyn Estate two years ago from Annette’s parents, founders Graham and Merilyn Hutton.

“These wines are precious as there is considerable loss each year from evaporation, what’s described as the Angel’s Share, and this gives the wine its power," says Scott Baxter.

“The vineyard is mature, low yielding and produces lovely juicy fruit, which is very perfumed when young: think Turkish delight and rose petals, and as this material matures, we start to see more intense flavours of raisin and toffee." 

Think $125 for 375mls. Visit for more information.

At the same show, Orange’s Ross Hill Wines was awarded the 2022 ‘Best in Show by Varietal’ trophy for the 2019 Ross Hill ‘Pinnacle Series’ Chardonnay.

Meanwhile, "sustainable" wine label Tread Softly  from the Fourth Wave Wines stable, has launched two gins presented in floral bottles (above). 

For every six bottles of gin sold, Tread Softly will plant one native Australian tree to help restore deforested Australian bushland.

Tread Softly Gin is lighter in alcohol (37%), compared to most contemporary gins. The bottles are made from 100% recycled tinted glass. 

The first releases - a dry gin and a pink gin - were entered in the London Spirits Competition and both walked away with silver medals. That's certainly a decent start. 

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