Oatley family wins big at Mudgee show

Sandy Oatley (left) and the late Bob Oatley

Sandy Oatley (left) and the late Bob Oatley (Photo: Robert Oatley Vineyards. Photographer: Jack Atley)

Mudgee’s pre-eminent family wine company has scooped the pool at the 2016 Mudgee Wine Show, and in doing so re-stated its commitment to this much-diminished wine region.

Robert Oatley Vineyards (tastings) won nine gold medals as well as three trophies – for best chardonnay, best white wine of show, and most successful exhibitor.

The winning chardonnay is a $17 cheapie, the 2014 Pocketwatch Chardonnay. It and the other eight gold-medal wines were made from Mudgee grapes (there are classes in which wines labelled Central Ranges and made from at least 15% Mudgee grapes are permitted).

It is good to see the region’s largest wine-producer shining, following the wholesale abandonment of the region by the corporates such as Treasury and Pernod Ricard, and the reduction of the vineyard area in recent years by more than one-third. On the other hand, Mudgee is consolidating, with the best vineyards remaining and producers re-focusing.

The other Oatley gold medal wines are;

All nine wines were sourced from the family’s Mudgee vineyards Chardonnay Park, Wooloomooloo, Woodbrook, Montrose and Craigmoor.

Sandy Oatley, the executive chairman, said:

“My late father would be delighted with this success. He had long admired chardonnay and shiraz from the region, buying grapes as far back as 30 years ago.”

“Chardonnay was without doubt my father’s favourite wine, so we re-named the trophy we’ve sponsored for a few years now, the Bob Oatley Trophy for the best chardonnay – never planning that we might win for our own wine.”

The winemaking team is headed by Larry Cherubino and led locally by Rob Merrick and Marc Udy.

All of the award-winning wines are available from the Mudgee cellar door at Craigmoor, the website and specialist retailers nationwide, with the exception of The Pennant Chardonnay 2013 ($70), which will be released early next year.

The Pocketwatch range are all $17, Wild Oats all $18, and Finisterre Chardonnay is $33.

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