17/03/2021 - 14:00

Swinney recognised as top vineyard

17/03/2021 - 14:00

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Frankland River-based winery Swinney has been named Vineyard of the Year by website Young Gun of Wine for maintaining a large-scale vineyard with a small-scale approach.

Swinney recognised as top vineyard
Matt Swinney (left) and Lee Haselgrove's Swinney winery won Vineyard of the Year.

Frankland River-based winery Swinney has been named Vineyard of the Year by website Young Gun of Wine for maintaining a large-scale vineyard with a small-scale approach.

It is the first year Young Gun of Wine has awarded the honour, adding the category to its other awards held throughout the year, the Wineslinger awards, which highlight the best venues for wine, and its eponymous awards recognising young wine labels.

Judge and The Australian Financial Review drink columnist Max Allen said the vineyard awards were a great opportunity to shift the focus of the national conversation from how wine was made to how grapes were grown.

The judges said Swinney’s vineyard, managed by viticulturalist Lee Haselgrove, was 160 hectares but took a small-scale approach.

They said the vineyard represented modern viticulture with old-world techniques, executed with precision through manual work and state-of-the-art technology, underpinned by an environmental focus.

“They are pushing the limits of grape varieties and challenging the norms to search for wines of distinct provenance and expression,” the judges said.

“The scale of the vineyard, coupled with their pinpoint focus and pursuit of innovation, and the quality of the resulting wines, is truly extraordinary and inspiring.”

The Swinney family have been farmers in the Frankland River Region for the past 100 years and planted their first grapes in the 1990s.

The winery is now run by siblings Matt and Janelle Swinney.

Other awards presented by Young Gun of Wine were: New Vineyard of the Year, won by Victorian winery Place of Changing Wines; Old Vineyard of the Year, awarded to Best’s Concongella Vineyard; and Innovative Vineyard of the Year, which went to South Australia’s Ricca Terra Caravel.

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