The who’s who of wine will be all eyes on Mudgee this month with the town hosting the NSW Wine Awards.
Mudgee is only the fourth regional town to be selected to stage the prestigious event, following Griffith in 2014, Orange in 2015 and the Hunter Valley last year.
The aim of the Awards, held from September 19-21, is to identify the best NSW wines, with gold, silver and bronze medals as well as category trophies.
Mudgee Wine Show Committee chair, Jacob Stein, described Mudgee as “lucky” to have been selected.
“There are 20 judges coming from all around Australia in high industry positions,” he said.
Unlike traditional wine shows, the judges of the NSW Awards taste wines of similar style regardless of the size of the producer, allowing large and small wineries to compete against each other.
Entries are judged by three panels headed by Chief Judge PJ Charteris. Each panel is chaired by a leading figure of Australian wine.
“They judge wines from all companies, NSW based. It’s the same concept as the Mudgee Wine Awards, but this is all about wines from all over the state,” Mr Stein said.
The Mudgee Wine Awards are being held during the Wine and Food Festival with the presentation dinner on September 15.
The NSW Awards, created in 1996, receive around 800 entries each year.
They are divided into 16 categories: Best Young Chardonnay, Semillon, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Other single varietals, White Blends, Best Young Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Other single red varietals, and Red blends as well as the Mature Dry Red and Dry White trophies, Sparkling and Sweet wines.
The New South Wales Wine of the Year is chosen from one of these categories. There is also an award for the Best Organic Wine of Show.
For Mudgee wines, Mr Stein explained, “Chardonnay, shiraz, riesling and cabinet always do well”.
“It goes to show that Mudgee can rub shoulders and be up there in quality, not only in the state, but nation-wide.”
All wines achieving a Gold or Silver medal will be eligible to enter the Premium and Single Vineyard classes in the National Wine Show, which is judged in November.