REGION - The accolades continue to flow for wine makers across the region with Grampians and Pyrenees wines well represented at this year's Federation Square Wine awards.
Clarnette and Ludvigsen Wines 2009 Shiraz took out the top class Red Wine of the Year award along with Best in Class in the Shiraz category, while DogRock Winery was awarded the Best in Class in Shiraz Blends for its 2010 Degraves Road.
Away from the barrel DogRock wineries day-to-day operations were commended as it took out the Environmental Sustainability Award.
Owner Allen Hart said his business had been set up to be sustainable from its creation 14 years ago with no power generated from the grid and re-planting and re-vegetation works key.
"We have made some major investments to try and limit our carbon footprint," he said.
"From day one we started work to be sustainable. When we were established in 1999 not many people were off the grid. We like to be seen as trend setters, not trend followers."
Mr Hart said in the decades to come there will be a lot more people who operate in the same way they do at DogRock.
"We build marketing based on sustainability, we have done it as part of our business. It is cheaper, but also gives you piece of mind knowing you are doing the best you can to leave the smallest carbon foot print while building up the biodiversity by replanting trees and attracting native animals."
Mr Hart said as far as he knew DogRock Winery was the only winery in Australia that undertakes irrigation with the use of solar energy.
Leigh Clarnette said the two awards he and Kym Ludvigsen received for their 2009 Shiraz was most unexpected but at the same time pretty special.
"It is a dream come true. I have made wine for many companies and winning is never as good as when your name is on the label," he said.
"We've tried to make our wine soft and approachable and we've done that with good vibrant fruit and a minimal amount of oak."
Mr Clarnette said to be judged the best among the 2009 vintage was particularly important given the tough conditions faced by growers during that time.
"As everyone will remember that was one of the toughest years, to have all of that exceptional heat like we did and get it off without it becoming raisened, without losing crops through dehydration because there was no water was a great achievement."
Mr Hart said DogRock Wineries award for its 2010 Degraves Road reflected how good the 2010 vintage was for a lot of people.
"I think because it has slightly unusual varieties that are almost unique to this region and that we're able to come out with beautifully balanced fruit," he said.
Mr Hart said he believed the region's continued success had partly come from being in the 'perfect' climate.
"I think we are just in the perfect climate, it is not too hot, not too cold, so we have the opportunity to do a lot of varieties other region's don't.
"It is almost the perfect place to grow quality wine."
The Federation Square Wine awards which have now been held for 10 years are the culmination of regular bi-monthly Wine Showcases where 33 finalists gather to celebrate.
The wines that were awarded Gold and Silver medals as well as 'the Peoples choice' at each of these showcase events were eligible to enter these "Best of the Best" awards.
Throughout the year hundreds of wines are assessed with an expanded panel joining for the final judging of the Wine awards.
Mr Hart said for the region to be continuing to do well by winning so many awards was fantastic.
"For the Grampians and Pyrenees regions to come away with these awards says a lot about our wine and reiterates the high quality we have been able to produce," he said.
"We don't necessarily sell wine on the back of it, but we certainly get a few requests for wine and it builds the brand awareness by putting the seed in to the consumers mind."