Monday, 25 October 2010

Merilba Estate | Belle of the Ball

Friday night was Merilba Estate's night of nights, taking home two of the three most coveted awards at the New England Wine Show, held each October in Glen Innes to recognise the new and emerging regions' winemaking prowess.

Winning the much sought after Trophy for White Wine of Show, the 2010 Merilba Estate Semillon Sauvignon Blanc RRP $20, also took home a gold medal for a wine that has been in bottle a little less than one week.

Also a shining star on the night, the 2010 Merilba Estate Shiraz RRP $20 also won the award for Best Young Red Wine of Show after topping the class and gaining a silver medal along the way.

Merilba Estate, owned by Shaun & Kassy Cassidy is a relatively new entrant to the New England scene, but has been earmarked as one to watch.

The Cassidy's have created one of the region's leading food and wine destinations at their property near Kingstown just west of Uralla, having recently opened a stunning restaurant and cellar door facility on their vineyard and cattle property.

Producing just over 3800 dozen bottles of wine in their 8th vintage, the 2010 vintage is sure to position Merilba Estate as a leader in the region. The property, of which approx 12 hectares was planted to vine in 1998, produces classic varieties of Chardonnay, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon as well as some newer and emerging varieties to the region, Tempranillo and Gewurztraminer, which Shaun firmly believes are some of the most exciting styles coming out of the region.

Shaun Cassidy also makes wine for several other leading local wineries including Mihi Creek and Thunder Ridge who also took home a swag of medals on the night.

All three wineries are founding members of the New England Australia wine brand which is to announce its regional brand strategy at a celebration in Armidale on 26th October.

The NEW (New England Wine) regional brand has been created as a result of the New England Australia having recently been named as one of Australia's newest, largest, highest and coolest Geographical Indicators (GI) and designated by the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation as such.

A group of the regions enthusiastic grape growers and winemakers together with their active viticultural organisations, local industry, councils and Industry & Investment NSW have funded a comprehensive review of the regions wine and wine tourism industry, and a Sydney based wine marketing company, Winestream Communications has developed a new regional brand and strategy which will give the New England Wine region the ability to compete on the world wine stage for many years to come, and be recognised as a leading emerging wine region.

Merilba Estate Wines are available from Cellar Door and various local retailers.

Merilba Estate is seeking distribution in other markets.

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