Tassie chardonnay scores top honour

1st December 2020 | Eativity editors

At a time when Australian winemakers are reeling from the impact of China’s extraordinary new wine tariffs, the industry needed a bit of good news. And here it is: a Tasmanian chardonnay has been named as the best white wine in the world.

The International Wine Challenge (IWC) chose the Tolpuddle Vineyard Chardonnay 2018 as their Champion White Wine for 2020. In total, the wine picked up five trophies: Champion White Wine 2020, International Chardonnay Trophy, Australian White Trophy, Australian Chardonnay Trophy and Tasmanian Chardonnay Trophy.

It’s the first time a Tasmanian wine has collected the Champion White Trophy and the first time in seven years the trophy has gone to an Aussie producer. Australia was also one of the highest performing countries at this year’s event, with four wines included in the top 30.

A world class modern Australian chardonnay, now recognised as a world’s best.

The wine, one of Australia’s most renowned single vineyard wines, scored 97 points out of 100, beating wines from a remarkable 53 countries – and it was only one of four wines in the whole competition to score 97 points.

Now in its 38th year, the IWC is seen to be the world’s most rigorous, impartial and influential annual wine competition. So this is an epic win indeed for the Tassie producer.

The IWC judges described the chardonnay as: “Bright lemon yellow with a subtle, elegant and restrained aroma of lemon sherbet and fruity mineral tones on the nose. Pristine and angular, yet delicate on the palate with well-balanced oak. Long textural finish with beautiful poise, balance and charm.” That’s pretty enough to put in a book. Or a bottle.

With a view like that to look at, it’s no wonder these vines produce a top drop.

“Our philosophy has always been to grow the best grapes we possibly can in the best possible sites, and the Tolpuddle Vineyard continues to punch above its weight year after year,” says winemaker Adam Wadewitz (pictured at top). “It’s a very special place.”

Last year, Tolpuddle’s 2017 Chardonnay was awarded the Tasmanian Chardonnay Trophy, Australian Chardonnay Trophy and Australian White Trophy, also with 97/100 points.

Tolpuddle joint Managing Director Martin Shaw has studied and worked with wine all over the world.

The Tolpuddle Vineyard, located in the Coal River Valley just 20 minutes outside of Hobart, is recognised as one of the finest vineyards in the island state. Since acquiring the 20-hectare vineyard in 2011 after a road-trip to Tasmania, wine industry veterans Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith (who is Australia’s first qualified Master of Wine) have invested heavily in improving all aspects of the vineyard and are fully committed to seeing it recognised as one of Australia’s greatest single vineyard sites.

The vineyard is named after the Tolpuddle Martyrs, whose “reward” for starting England’s first agrarian union was to be transported to Tasmania as convicts.