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Tassie Pinot up to the Challenge

By Friday 6 October 2023October 8th, 2023No Comments

Tasmania has won the Australian Pinot Noir Challenge for the fourth consecutive time with Meadowbank 2022 Pinot Noir, made by Peter Dredge.

It is the fourth win for Tasmania in the six-year history of the show, hosted by the Mornington Peninsula Vignerons Association.

After the top three wines were decided, it was an epic battle for top spot with Yarra Valley and Adelaide Hills also in contention.

After many hours of deliberation, the judging panel chaired by Matt Harrop of Curly Flat Vineyard agreed the Tasmanian entrant deserved the trophy.

Located in the Derwent Valley, Meadowbank is owned by the Ellis family and is regarded as a pioneer in Tasmanian viticulture, with Gerald Ellis planting vines on his property in 1976 despite wide scepticism.

The warm days and cool nights have proven to be ideal for Pinot Noir.

Today, Gerald and his daughter Mardi manage the vineyard.

“What an honour and what an exhilarating ride,” Mardi says.

“We feel extremely humbled and excited to receive this award.

“When Dad first started Meadowbank almost 50 years ago, he was told you couldn’t grow grapes in the cold wilderness of Tasmania.

“For our Pinot Noir to be recognised in this fabulous way is a nod to Gerald’s intuitive defiance, Pete’s deft winemaking and our family’s ongoing stewardship and respect for this magical place.”

Peter Dredge has been at the winemaking helm at Meadowbank since 2015 and has worked closely with the vineyard since 2010.

“It has been such a pleasure to work with this beautiful vineyard for 13 years now,” he says.

“Since becoming a partner with Meadowbank, our soul focus has been reinvigorating the single vineyard releases by homing in on the strengths and weaknesses of the vineyard which is abound with climatic challenges.

“It feels like the work and dedication may finally be coming to fruition.

“We would never presume to work harder than any other Pinot Noir producer in the country.

“We all work our arses off.

“If you know Pinot, you know… bastard of a thing it is.”

Lindsay McCall, chair of the Australian Pinot Noir Challenge, was delighted to see such strong representation across 18 premium Pinot Noir regions.

“Australia is universally recognised as a premium Pinot Noir producing country,” he says.

“Our competitive edge is the outstanding quality of Pinot produced in so many cool climate regions.

“The Australian Pinot Noir Challenge celebrates the incredible wines from all regions and the ethereal nature of this complex and captivating variety that has become the world’s most exclusive and expensive wine.”

Photograph: Peter Dredge (left) with Gerald and Mardi Ellis.

Previous winners of the Australian Pinot Noir Challenge:

2022 Clarence House Block 1 2021 Pinot Noir Tasmania
2021 Ossa 2020 Pinot Noir Tasmania
2020 No event due to Covid
2019 Tertini 2018 Pinot Noir Tasmania
2018 Handpicked 2017 Mornington Peninsula Collection Pinot Noir
2017 Yes Said The Seal 2016 Pinot Noir Geelong

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