This year's Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Trophy for Australian Sweet under £15 went to Heggies, Botrytis Riesling, Eden Valley, South Australia 2012 (11%)
- No other Golds in this category
This gem of a Trophy-winner comes from the esteemed Heggies vineyard. At 550m altitude, it’s one of Australia’s highest vineyards and is a patchwork of separate plots dedicated to a particular variety. Each plot gets bespoke care and attention, with changes in canopy management from vine to vine; even the rows between the vines can alter.
Before it was planted with vines, this property was simple grazing land owned by a bushman called Colin Heggie, but when the farmland was bought by his childhood friend Wyndham Hill Smith – then owner of Yalumba – its genesis as a vineyard began, with the first plantings taking place in 1971 and the first wine appearing on the market two years later.
Paul Gambetta is Heggies’ winemaker, and wine was always part of his family background. After a flirtation with IT logistics, he trained at Roseworthy Agricultural College and is now in charge of this estate. ‘Eden Valley is the foremost Riesling area in Australia. At Heggies the soils are thin and well-drained, which limits yields and produces intensely flavoured grapes. The botrytis Riesling block is a natural amphitheatre beside a lake. It’s surrounded by a small woodland, creating very still conditions that allow morning fogs off the lake to initiate and maintain a clean noble rot infection. This doesn’t occur every year, but when it does we get these classic notes of apricots and glacé fruits, with superb balance.’
Written by Decanter