REGION - Mount Cole Wineworks has taken out three of the major awards at the prestigious Sydney International Wine Competition.
Competing against wines from Australia as well as New Zealand and Italy, Graeme and Carolyn Bertuch attended the Wine Competition knowing they were to receive an award for being in the Top 100 wines of the show for their 2010 Fenix Rising Reserve Shiraz, but they were not expecting three more major accolades to come their way.
"We were thrilled to learn as the afternoon progressed that we had won awards for the Best Light Bodied Dry Red, the Best Red Wine of the Show and Runner up to the Best Wine of the Show," Dr Bertuch said.
"This wine has now won a number of trophies against many wines over three times the price."
Mount Cole Wineworks also took out a gold medal at the Le Concours des Vins du Victoria 2012 awards with its 2010 Fenix Rising reserve Shiraz, which also went on to win SNF Floerger Trophy for the best 2010 Shiraz and the Invest Victoria Trophy for the Best 2012 Red Wine of the show.
The Fenix Rising is the winery's top wine, produced from Shiraz grapes grown in the Bertuchs' Mount Cole vineyard.
In addition to its success in Australia, Mount Cole Wineworks has also been busy in the area of export.
Dr Bertuch said the winery has recently sold three pallets of wine to Shanghai in China through its contacts established during many visits, including those as part of the Grampians Pyrenees Wine Co-operative.
Wines exported to China include the 2009 Fenix Rising, 2010 Nebbiolo and Sparkling Shiraz.
Dr Bertuch said the Chinese mainly like reds, and they like bottles to be corked, not those with a screw cap.
"The Chinese like to hear the 'pop'," he said.
With Vintage only a matter of a weeks away, Dr Bertuch said it had been an interesting season.
"It's been so dry, we've been trying to keep the water up to them (the vines). You've got to try to keep the leaves on them long enough to make sure they ripen, that's the main thing," he said.
"Vintage will be soon for early ripening varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay, we've got a little bit of Chardonnay, but it will be three or four weeks off for the Shiraz."
With Vintage soon to get underway, this year's round of wine competitions is sure to see the region's wineries at the top of their class yet again after an extremely successful 2012/2013 awards' season.
"As a region, we've done very well, Best's won the Jimmy Watson, that was great, Langi Ghiran won awards up in Sydney during year and Simon Clayfield at Ballarat (among others)," he said.
"When you look at the awards for the number of wineries, we outstrip any other region."