THE 2011 Seppelt Drumborg chardonnay from near Heywood has won the title of the best chardonnay in Australia in the James Halliday Chardonnay Challenge.
Organised by Wine Yarra Valley to showcase Australian chardonnay, the winning wine was selected from more than 530 entries, an increase of more than 100 over last year’s inaugural competition.
In a break with the usual tradition of awards dinners, the winners of the James Halliday Chardonnay Challenge were announced via online video on Monday.
The Seppelt Drumborg chardonnay is sourced exclusively from the cool climate Drumborg vineyard that is situated on the Princes Highway, north of Heywood, in the Henty wine region.
The vineyard was planted in 1964 to provide Seppelt with cool climate fruit for premium quality wines and remains one of the most southern vineyards in mainland Australia.
With a mean January temperature of 17.5 degrees, the Henty wine region is developing a reputation as one of Australia’s leading cool climate wine growing regions.
Entries in the competition came from nearly 300 wineries, representing 53 of the country’s wine regions, and were judged by three panels of three judges, with two supporting associate judges and a panel chair who blind-tasted wines grouped by region or zone.
Patron of the competition, Australian wine critic James Halliday, said the Chardonnay Challenge had shown that Australian chardonnay was among the world’s best after “the synergistic impact of winemakers, sommeliers and fine wine consumers” during the past 10 years.