In a major first for a Queensland winery, Symphony Hill Wines on the Granite Belt has been awarded a national trophy for its 2014 Gewurztraminer at the 2014 Royal Melbourne Wine Awards. Their 2014 Gewurztraminer was awarded Best Single Varietal White Wine. This is their fourth time they have been finalist for a trophy at Royal Melbourne and in fact their 2013 Gewurztraminer was finalist there last year.

They are making quite a name for themselves with this alternative white wine variety after their 2013 vintage was rated 5 stars by James Halliday and awarded trophy at Royal Brisbane Wine Show in July with chief judge PJ Charteris remarking that Symphony Hill Wines has set a new benchmark for Gewurztraminer in Austalia.

Winemaker Mike Hayes was over the moon when he accepted the trophy at the trophy presentation dinner. “This is a career highlight that lifts Symphony Hill to yet another level. Trophies at national wine shows for successive vintages is rarely achieved by any winery. We have a great team, lead by our exceptionally talented assistant winemaker, Tom Battle. They invest so much into the winemaking at Symphony Hill and this is wonderful recognition of their efforts. You never stop learning in this game and it is great to see success for not only our mainstream varieties like our signature Reserve Shiraz, but also critical acclaim for our alternative varieties.”

“It has been quite an exciting 6 months where we have achieved trophies at two national wine shows and 6 new release wines rated 5 stars by James Halliday. After releasing our wines 10 years ago I think we can safely say we are off our L Plates.”

Mike Hayes was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to research alternative grape varieties in Europe late last year and also gained valuable insights into how to add more texture to white wines. “We have other exciting wines being released shortly to our wine club members including Lagrein, Nebbiolo and Petit Manseng. It is exciting to see the wine landscape of Australia changing as people discover new exciting grape varieties.”

Owner of Symphony Hill Wines, Ewen Macpherson commented, “It is an amazing wine – It has jazz hands! The aromas of Turkish delight and lychees just rocket out of the glass like no other wine. With those sort of aromas many people tasting it for the first time think it is going to be a sweet wine but then they discover it is a beautiful dry wine with musk and spice on the palate. It is simply sensational when matched with spicy food. At our cellar door, where people get to sample our whole range of wines, it is our most popular white variety!”

“This award should be awarded more to Mike Hayes our winemaker, rather than Symphony Hill Wines. It was his excellence in viticulture that produced the quality grapes and his 30 years experience in crafting wines from vines that lead to the production of the best Gewurztraminer ever to come out of Australia.”