SITTELLA Winery has walked away with a swag of awards from the annual Swan Valley Wine Show held at Mandoon Estate.
Chairman of the judges Mark Warren said Sittella did exceptionally well.
“Usually in a show there is always one winery that seems to win a lot of awards but for the most part that is because the ‘best wine of show’ is also going to win ‘best white’ or ‘best red’ trophy and will also win best of its variety trophy as well,’’ he said.
“In Sittella’s case they extended this to trophies across all categories and this is a rather rare feat.
“To win any wine trophy you need to have top quality fruit that is expertly handled in the winery – it doesn’t happen by luck.
“Sittella clearly have good fruit and quality wine making.
“There are also other producers doing an excellent job but on the day of judging it appears that the style being produced by Sittella resonated with the particular set of judges at the show.’’
Mr Warren awarded the chairman’s award – the Allen Dineen memorial trophy to Jarrah Ridge Wines.
“It’s a rather special trophy as it is named after a much-loved wine retailer Allen Dineen who passed away.
“Allen had a liquor store in Guildford called Chateau Guildford and was a great supporter of the Swan Valley.
“It’s somewhat different to other trophies as it is a chairman’s award which means it was chosen by me rather than by a collective of judges.
“This wine stood out to me because it was a beautiful wine with lots of flavour and velvety tannin but also because it had a strong Swan Valley stamp to its flavour profile.
“I believe that wines should display their provenance and this wine was distinctly Swan Valley.’’
At the awards dinner Sittella owner Simon Berns said the winery’s wine makers deserved all the credit.
But chief wine maker Colby Quirk said the owners deserved credit too.
“Simon and Maaike Berns have contributed significantly to the tourism of the Swan Valley for the past 20 years and continue to do so,’’ he said.
“Yuri Berns and I put these wines together with a lot of planning and time in the vineyards along with our consultants overview and guidance Dr Tony Jordan.
“It is a challenging yet rewarding role at Sittella to make most styles of wines.
“Yuri and I do a lot of benchmark tasting of wines that are well awarded in the shows and also what our trade colleagues tell us sell well.
“So having this understanding we piece our own wines with their own Sittella style together.
“The 2017 vintage presented much rain which most benefited our dry farmed, old bush vine vineyards in the Swan Valley.
“Yuri and I worked quickly to make the best of the wet conditions and our wine show success shows the hours we put in yielded great wines for our restaurant patrons, wine club and consumers.’’
Sittella Winery won best sparkling wine, best red wine of the show, best white blend, best white wine of the show, best alternative red, best fortified, best exhibitor overall and Singapore Airlines best wine of the show.
The City of Swan trophy for the exhibitor whose five or more entries gained the highest score was won by Houghton Wines.
This year the international judge was Fongyee Walker, co-founder of Dragon Phoenix Wine Consulting in Beijing.
By Anita McInnes