Brokenwood returns triumphant


Iain Riggs of Brokenwood (Photo: Supplied)

It was fitting that Brokenwood won two trophies at this year’s Sydney Royal Wine Show, in its first year back as an exhibitor for many years. During his six years as chair of judges (plus last year, when he assisted incoming chair Samantha Connew), chief winemaker and managing director Iain Riggs refrained from entering Brokenwood wines, except for a handful of entries in his first two years.

Brokenwood’s 2009 ILR Reserve Semillon (tasting) won the David Clarke Memorial Trophy for best semillon and the Dr Henry John Lindeman Perpetual Prize for the best mature dry white.

Brokenwood (tastings) also landed a gold for its Indigo Vineyard Chardonnay 2015 and a very high silver for its 2014 Trevena Semillon, which will be released as an ILR.

This year was Lyndey Milan’s last year as chair of the wine show committee, after six outstanding years. Together with Riggs, she steered many innovations, including the use of digital tablets for scoring, changing the judging date to a more acceptable time of the year, unlimited advice on matters food and wine to the RAS of NSW, forming partnerships with other state and leading regional wine shows, and hosting wine consultative committee meetings. She will be succeeded by Sally Evans (daughter of Len), who was formerly chief steward.

Lyndey, who is an OAM and well-known television food and wine personality, MCd the awards dinner.

“Although I’m a believer in meritocracy, I’d like to point out that this show has a female chief judge (Sam Connew), female visiting international judge (Michelle Bouffard, from Montreal), female chair of the wine committee (herself) and female chief steward (Sally Evans). We’ve come a long way since I started at the RAS of NSW.”

As well, two of the six panel chairs were female, three senior judges and four associate judges.

It’s a far cry from the time I was first involved with the Sydney Wine Show, in the mid-1980s, when there was nary a skirt in sight.

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