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Editor's Letter

Leading the Charge

The celebration of the 21st Winemaker of the Year Awards is quite a milestone for Gourmet Traveller WINE, especially as these are – as far as we know – the longest standing awards of their type in Australia.

Adding to the excitement is the fact that, for the first time, women have taken out two of the top gongs. While the Winemaker of the Year Award has previously been presented to women – Vanya Cullen was the inaugural female recipient back in 2000 – this is the first time the Len Evans Award for Leadership has not been given to a man. Turn to page 73 where, with the support of Perpetual, we raise our glasses to two leading ladies of wine as well as the Young Winemaker of the Year and the Viticulturist of the Year.

By happy chance, wherever I roam in the world, the best wine bars never fail to have a stash of lovely Mount Etna wines. A case in point is when I joined my daughter, Bella, in Stockholm to revisit all the wine bars she has included in her story. We frequently found a Frank Cornelissen or one of his neighbours waiting for us on the wine lists. With these wines in much demand, it is quite timely that Natasha Hughes MW reports on Mount Etna and the broader Sicilian wine scene after her recent visit.

You have probably noticed that the popularity of grenache is on the rise, too, with an ever-increasing number of examples gracing the shelves of wine merchants and bars. Max Allen gives his view on the grape. Rosé is another wine continuing to make a big splash. Our panel puts forward what they consider to be the best from France and Australia. And while the Granite Belt doesn’t enjoy as much attention as it deserves, it is cracking out some stellar cool-climate wines. I urge you to follow our itinerary for the region and try some of them.