Range of awards increased

NOW in its 16th year, the SGIO Winemakers’ Exhibition will take place from October 23 to 27, with the SGIO Winemakers’ Awards announced on October 26.

Previously, the awards rewarded outstanding wine in 12 varietal categories.

This year, due to popular demand and to recognise the breadth of winemaking techniques in WA, three new classes have been introduced – sparkling white, sparkling red and fortified.

SGIO state manager Garry Moore said Charlie Melton from Charles Melton Winery in South Australia’s Barossa Valley would have his work cut out as judge.

“During the three days of judging, Charlie will have to taste more than 450 wines from more than 90 WA wineries,” Mr Moore said.

“Charlie has broad experience in wine judging in Australia and also internationally. As a winemaker, it has been his mission to revive the undervalued varieties of grenache and shiraz.

“He has gained worldwide recognition for a selection of wines made from these varieties including ‘Rose of Virginia’ and his unique traditional Australian-style sparkling red.

“However, his greatest recognition has been for a shiraz, a grenache and his range of classic dry reds including Nine Popes.”

The SGIO Wine Awards are unique in that there is only one judge supported by six trainee judges. The trainees are young winemakers with no judging experience. Working alongside Mr Melton, they will no doubt pick up a number of tips.

“The awards are endorsed by the local industry body, the Wine Industry Association of WA, who coordinate and act as the scrutineers during the three days of judging,” Mr Moore said.

“The overall winning wine will win the winemaker two tickets to an overseas winemaking region along with spending money.”

Following the award presentation, The Globe Wine Bar & Restaurant at the Parmelia Hilton Perth will host the Winemakers’ Awards Long Table Dinner.

Attendees will be able to sample a selection of this year’s award winning wines matched to a five-course dinner.

The SGIO Winemakers’ Exhibition is always a popular event for the public.

Wine lovers can sample top WA wines at the SGIO Atrium on St Georges Terrace for free.

Wineries represented will include Plantagenet Wines, Black George Pemberton and Warren River, Evans & Tate, Salitage Wines, Killerby, Clairault Wines, Alkoomi, Goundry Wines, Old Kent River, FireGully Vineyards, Ferguson Falls Estate and Chestnut Grove.

Tastings will be held from 12-2pm and attendees have the chance to win a case of award-wining wine.

The Exhibition unofficially begins at the same venue on October 22 as part of The Terrace Proms. Wineries represented on the day will include Upper Reach Vineyard, Hotham Valley, Talijancich Wines, Flinders Bay, Happs, Donnelly River Wines, Arlewood Estate and Barking Owl Wines.

Wine-tourism traineeship a national first

AUSTRALIA’S first wine tourism industry traineeship scheme has been established by the State Government and will be trialled in WA’s South West.

Employment and Training Minister Mike Board said 10 people had been chosen to undertake the 12-month pilot, four of whom had been taken on by employers to finish their traineeship.

The training program is a partnership of the Department of Training and Employment, Jobs South West and the Margaret River Campus of the South West Regional College of TAFE.

It was developed over the past 12 months by the Wine Tourism Jobs Project Team, formed following commitments made by the State Government in the Department of Training and Employment’s plan The Way Forward for the WA Wine Tourism In-dustry.

Mr Board said WA had a world-class wine industry and was a national, and possibly international, leader in designing training and employment services for a wine tourism industry workforce.

“The South West region is becoming an important destination for overseas and eastern states tourists and this is generating investment in the region,” he said.

“The State’s wine tourism industry has grown beyond the stage where it can rely on casual or untrained labour.

“This traineeship takes into consideration the skills needed to work in an industry that does a lot more than produce wine.

“It focuses on customer relations, sales skills, wine and food knowledge, promotion of associated wine tourism attractions and marketing. The traineeships have been endorsed by the Wine Industry Association of WA and the WA Wine Tourism Council and I hope other industry leaders will join this partnership.”

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