BIG JOB: With more than 550 wines from 55 Australian regions, Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show, judges certainly had their work cut out.

Trentham Estate has been awarded the Best Murray Darling Region Wine for its 2020 The Family Sangiovese Rose in Mildura’s Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show.

More than 550 wines from 55 Australian regions entered the 2020 show where Best Wine of Show was awarded to Hahndorf Hill Winery for its 2020 White Mischief Gruner Veltliner.

Chief of judges, Sophie Otton was online supporting the judging and award process last week, said: “The 2020 AAVWS has been an interesting exercise in adaptability with my supervising the show from NSW, while our talented judges do all the heavy lifting.

“Despite this unusual scenario, it has proven a success in that the judges have argued for the top wines through rigorous and convincing discussion.

“The opportunity to glean a fascinating snapshot of the alternative varietal wine scene sets this event apart from all the regional and capital shows in Australia.”

Show manager Helen Healy said local and regional Victorian judges and stewards worked their way through more than 550 wines representing 95 unique varieties from 137 exhibitors and awarded a total of 59 gold medals, 94 silver and 205 bronze.

She said the show would continue this month with [All] Talk & [No] Taste, a series of live online events when AAVWS co-founder Stefano de Pieri sat down with winemaker Elizabeth Richardson to share a meal and chat about the fun to be had when matching the diverse flavours and textures of alternative variety wines with food.

“With both guests being Mildura locals, the fare on the table and in their glasses will be sourced locally where we have an abundance of fresh produce and plenty of wines made from interesting grape varieties to choose from,” Helen said.

“We can expect more than a dash of Italian influence in the conversation, with Elizabeth holding a Masters of Gastronomy from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy and Stefano’s heritage being Venetian.

“We can’t wait to see what these two will cook up.”