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McLaren Vale Shiraz wins top award at Vinexpo

Primary Industries

An Australian red wine has beaten a strong field of French and international wines to win a Special Prize at the coveted Citadelle du Vin awards.

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Judged in Bordeaux earlier in the month and presented at Vinexpo in Hong Kong this week, Serafino Wines from South Australia’s McLaren Vale was awarded the Special Prize FIJEV (International Circle of Wine Journalists and Writers) for its 2014 Magnitude Shiraz.

“We always thought it was pretty smart, it’s spent up to two years in American oak so it’s quite a big, full-flavoured wine but the oak fits really nicely into the fruit category of the ’14, which is a lovely juicy colour with lots of dark fruit characteristics and it really looks quite bright and vibrant even though it’s been in oak for that long,” Serafino Winemaker Charles Whish said.

“We just decided it would go well in a show like that and we also put two Cabernets, a 2015 and a 2016 in and they won Silver Medals.

“We put three wines in and got three awards, which is pretty good.”

More than 1200 wines from over 30 countries were entered into the Citadelle du Vin awards with more than 75 per cent of them coming from outside of France.

The 2014 Magnitude Shiraz, below, retails for A$45 and although it is being sold at the Serafino cellar door its broader release is still a few weeks away.

Whish said previous vintages of the wine had only been sold in Australia but the award might provide an opportunity to sell some into restaurants in Asia.

“It’s good for South Australia and McLaren Vale to get a bit of international focus on our wines, particularly in a place like Bordeaux, which is known for its reds,” Whish said.

“What’s also significant is that the award was presented in Hong Kong where our big markets are so it’s probably good to show an award winning wine at that event and also have it there so people could taste it.

“I think it will be very appealing to some of the Chinese and Hong Kong markets, it’s got some of the fruit depth and structures that they seem to enjoy.”

Serafino exports into Hong Kong and Singapore and is looking to increase its sales in China. National Sales and Marketing Manager Russell Gallagher was in Hong Kong to accept the award and would use the opportunity to introduce the Serafino brand to potential Chinese distributors.

“We’ve certainly got the products to sell but we’re just trying to establish new links into markets there,” Whish said.

“If this can help get people interested in our brand and our products then we can show them other wines that we make as well and see if we can some sort of leverage and foothold into China.”

Vinexpo Hong Kong is the most influential wine and spirits trade fair in Asia. This year, the May 29-31 fair celebrated Australia as the ‘Country of Honour’ and a record 151 exhibitors showcased more than 225 Australian wine brands.

The event was also used to launch a premium 10-day Business of Wine course to give industry professionals access to some of the leading minds in Adelaide, South Australia, and Bordeaux, France.

Australia is the world’s fifth largest wine producer and the second largest exporter to China, behind France. South Australia produces about 50 per cent of Australia’s wine and is home to the leading regions of Barossa and McLaren Vale and brands including Penfolds, Jacob’s Creek, Hardys Wines and Wolf Blass.

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story.

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