GENERATION after generation of harvests at Balgownie Estate have given the winery a balanced, savoury chardonnay - a worthy accompaniment to any roast dinner.
The 35 years of developing roots in the Maiden Gully soil helped the estate secure a trophy as the top chardonnay of 2012-14 vintage at the Ballarat Wine Show last weekend.
Judged alongside some of regional Victoria's top gold medal-winning drops, winemaker Tony Winspear said a solid season in 2012 paid dividends for Balgownie.
"2012 was a terrific vintage for us, it was a great growing season, and our old vines which have got an average of 35 years performed brilliantly," he said.
"We were able to produce this really beautiful, balanced chardonnay and the judges agreed with us. They thought it was pretty good too."
Balgownie Estate was among five winemakers to claim trophies at the show, placing it alongside some of Victoria and Australia's top growers - Seppelts, Oakdene and Clyde Park.
2012 was a terrific vintage for us, it was a great growing season.- Tony Winspear
Sanguine Estate's 2012 shiraz received a gold medal, further demonstrating the strength of the 2012 season for local winemakers. Hanging Rock Winery's 2013 pinot noir was another gold medal recipient at the show.
Only wines produced in Victoria were eligible for the Ballarat Wine Show.
Exhibited wines were judged on a point system, analysing colour, clarity, bouquet and palate.
Gold medal winners scored more than 18.5 out of 20, with 53 different classes of wine judged over the regional and Victorian wine sections.
Mr Winspear said Balgownie's 2012 chardonnay had received a number of medals, and the trophy win had been a crowning glory.
"Balgownie produces highly complex and individual type wines from our old vines," he said.
"We've got a really good following among the people of Bendigo and also down in Melbourne.
"Expect really interesting complexity, great depth of flavour, it's got a love balance to it. It goes absolutely beautifully with any food you'd like to make, especially roast chicken dishes and any white meat like that
While the region experienced ideal conditions in 2012, the dry, warm winter and early Spring of 2014 could provide more of a challenge for producers.
Mr Winspear said the other side of the divide had received a lot of rain, but Bendigo had not been so fortunate.
"The dry conditions this side of the divide, in the Bendigo region, is causing us a bit of grief in regards to the danger of frost," he said.
"We have frost prevention via big anti-frost fans. We've had to have them on 12 times this year which is a record for us.
"We're hoping for a bit of rain."
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