John Kosovich and Upper Reach wineries shine

Swan Valley's best wines were awarded at the Swan Valley Wine Show last weekend.
September 14, 2023
Anita McInnes

JOHN Kosovich and Upper Reach wineries along with Mandoon Estate were some of the winners at the Swan Valley Wine Show on the weekend.

John Kosovich Wines was awarded the trophy for the best Swan Valley table wine with their chenin blanc 2019, this wine also won the trophy for best chenin blanc.

Last year the Baskerville winery, which was established in 1922, won the best regional wine trophy with their bottle aged chenin blanc 2018.

The Liquor Barons trophy for the best regional wine was judged separately.

It is only open to gold medal winning Swan Valley wines and awarded to the wine that in the judges’ opinion shows true Swan Valley regional character.

This year the best regional wine gong was awarded to Upper Reach Winery for their 2022 The Gig grenache.

Upper Reach Winery winemaker Derek Pearse is from a Wubin wheat farming background but discovered his passion for wine while working in a wine shop in London.

“I have spent a number of years working on making Swan Valley grenache, experimenting with a range of techniques and I’m really happy with this vintage,’’ he said.

“We have been lucky enough to use grapes from 80-year-old vines that have been dry grown, so without any irrigation.

“To have this wine named as best regional wine was fantastic and shows how grenache is really pushing boundaries.’’

His wife Laura Pease said it was extremely satisfying for Upper Reach to win the best single red varietal other than shiraz as it was a closely contested class with a lot of very good entries.

The winery also won the Alan Dinneen memorial trophy judged this year by master of wine and chief judge Erin Larkin.

“Winning the Alan Dinneen Trophy was incredible, it is very special to us as Alan was a personal friend and it was marvellous to receive the memorial trophy from another friend both of Alan’s and of ours, David Watson.

“It is connections like this that epitomise the supportive, collaborative and close friendships with the Swan Valley.’’

Mandoon Estate took home trophies for best sparkling wine, best rosé, best non GPZ wine – dry white or dry red, most successful producer with the highest accumulated points overall and the City of Swan Trophy, which is awarded to the exhibitor whose five or more entries gained the highest average score.

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