WINE from the Derwent Valley’s Meadowbank vineyard has won the National Pinot Noir Challenge for 2023 with its 2022 Meadowbank Pinot Noir made by winemaker Peter Dredge. This is Tasmania’s fourth win in the event’s six-year history. The Meadowbank drop was first named “Best of Tasmania,” in the awards, before going on to be named “Best Pinor Noir in Australia” last week.
Judging panel chairperson Matt Harrop said it had been an “epic battle” for top spot, with the Yarra Valley and Adelaide Hills also in close contention. “Many hours of deliberation ensued, with the judging panel agreeing that the Tasmanian entrant deserved the trophy,” Mr Harrop said.
Located near Glenora in the Derwent Valley, Meadowbank is owned by the Ellis family and is regarded as a pioneer in Tasmanian viticulture. Gerald Ellis planted the first vines on the property in 1976 and the location’s warm days and cool nights have proved to be ideal for pinot noir. Today, father and daughter duo, Gerald and Mardi, manage the vineyard.
Mardi Ellis was elated with the win. “What an honour and what an exhilarating ride,” she said on the Australian Pinor Noir Challenge website. “We feel extremely humbled and excited to receive this award. When Dad first started Meadowbank almost 50 years ago, he was told you couldn’t grow grapes in the ‘cold wilderness’ of Tasmania. For our pinot noir to be recognised in this fabulous way is a not to Gerald’s intuitive defiance, Pete’s deft winemaking and our family’s ongoing stewardship and respect for this magical place,” she said.
Peter Dredge has been associated with the vineyard since 2010 and has been its chief winemaker since 2015. In 2017 he was awarded the People’s Choice award at the Young Gun of Wine Awards and in 2020 he was a top eight finalist for Gourmet Traveller WINE Winemaker of the year.
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