Local winery made GIANT STEP on national stage

Matt Harrop (left) giving the trophy to Giant Steps Wine viticulture manager Ashley Wood. Picture: STUDIO VITA

By Dongyun Kwon

A local winery got the spotlight on the national stage for its special pinot noir.

Giant Steps Wine’s 2022 Applejack Vineyard Pinot Noir won the trophy for Best Pinot Noir at the National Wine Show of Australia on Thursday 30 May.

Giant Steps Wine head winemaker Melanie Chester said her team was pleased to be recognised for their dedication.

“A lot of hard work goes into growing, making and bottling this wine,” she said.

“So for us, this is the recognition of the amount of dedication and love we have for the wine that we get to produce.

“We had a nice bottle of champagne to celebrate over the weekend together and had really nice cheers to the fact that all of our hard work can be recognised through this wine show. It means a lot to us.”

Giant Steps Wine’s Applejack Vineyard is located 300 meters above sea level in Gladysdale.

“It is probably our most famous pinot noir vineyard and it makes one of those perfumed, open texture, spicy pinots in our portfolio,” Ms Chester said.

“We’ve been making a single vineyard wine from this vineyard since about 2010 and we just knew it was a fantastic place for pinot.

“It’s a really special site and it’s been managed by the vineyard team who are very dedicated, and there’s no stone left unturned.”

To be eligible to enter the National Wine Show of Australia, presented by Endeavour Group, wines must have won a gold or silver medal at one of 32 qualifying capital city or regional shows.

The 2022 Applejack Pinot Noir won the trophy for the Best Single Vineyard wine at the 2023 Royal Sydney Wine to be eligible for entry at the national wine show.

This year, 952 wines representing 236 Australian wineries competed in the Canberra-based show.

Of the 23 trophy winners, eight were from South Australia, seven from Victoria, four from Western Australia, three from New South Wales and one from Tasmania.

National Wine Show of Australia Chair of Judges Matt Harrop described the Giant Steps 2022 Applejack Vineyard Pinot Noir as a beautifully aromatic pinot.

“It has a mid-palate texture, a real richness and a fine tannin structure. The acidity is well balanced, and it is fresh and bright and persistent on the palate,” Mr Harrop said.

“This is the first time a Yarra Valley entry has won the pinot trophy at the National Wine Show for a while. Over the past few years, Tasmanian wines have dominated this category.

“It was a close competition, and really cool to see a Yarra pinot win the pinot trophy this year.”