Not long ago, we came to the shattering realisation that, for the first time in 23 years, we would not be able to hold our glorious, glittering, gala dinner at which the annual Winemaker of the Year Awards are announced. With our finalists and winners confined to their home states, we had to come up with another plan to honour their achievements – and so the inaugural Virtual Winemaker of the Year Awards, supported by Perpetual, were born.
In early October, host Peter Bourne, presenter Sally Evans, three of our esteemed judges and winemaker Alex Head joined us at a private dining room in Sydney. From here we connected with this year’s contenders, and streamed the awards live across Australia and beyond. It was heartening that so many readers joined us to raise a glass and acknowledge the winners.
Meanwhile, with steely determination, our expert tasting panel congregated to make their way through a stunning selection of Australian rieslings, while Andrew Graham investigates the progress in Australia of Sicilian star grape, nerello mascalese and Christina Kaigg explores cooler climes to report on the sensational pinot noirs of Gippsland.
Also in this issue, we catch up with the dynamic young winemakers who are connecting with the earth and making exquisite wines expressing their patches of land, and take you on tours of Waiheke Island and the Limestone Coast. Looking beyond our borders, Nick Stock reveals some superb imports, while Angus Hughson rounds up 12 of his favourite European rosés.
Most importantly, we invite you to let us know what you would like to see more, or even less, of in Gourmet Traveller WINE. If you can spare a few minutes to fill in our survey, it will go a long way to ensuring your magazine is all that you wish for in 2021.
Cover photography by James Broadway.