Ballinaclash is one to watch

Peter and Cath Mullany with one of their trophies (Photo: Young Witness)

Ballinaclash vineyard in the NSW Hilltops region had been producing wine for 20 years and had won three trophies in all that time, but in 2017 they landed no less than seven trophies in eight days.

“We were tickled pink with that, but it’ll probably never happen again.”

Said Peter Mullany, who owns the property with his wife Cath.

Ballinaclash is a vineyard and pick-your-own cherry orchard near Young, the cherry capital of NSW.

The star wine in 2017 was the 2016 Ballinaclash Edward Shiraz (AUD $45). It won three trophies at the Canberra Region Wine Show (best shiraz, best red and champion wine); two trophies at the NSW Small Winemakers Show (best shiraz and best red), and two more at the Hilltops Wine Show (best shiraz and Wine of the Year).

Peter feigned disappointment when I told him the same wine won a mere gold medal at the show I chair: the 2017 Australian & New Zealand Boutique Wine Awards. That was quite an achievement though, as it was one of just eight gold-medal wines in a massive class of 196 shirazes. It scored 96 points.

The Mullanys have a unique (as far as I know) approach to making wine. They make a cabernet every odd year and a shiraz every even year. They don’t want to overload the market.

There are two other red wines still available, which have also done well in shows.

The 2015 Ballinaclash Joseph Cabernet Sauvignon (AUD $25) won the trophy for the best cabernet at the 2016 NSW Wine Awards. It has won two trophies and four gold medals so far.

And the 2014 Ballinaclash Sub Tuum Shiraz (AUD $35) has won four gold medals and a swag of lesser awards.

The name Ballinaclash piqued my curiosity. Peter said it came from his father’s home-town in Waterford county, Ireland. His father, Michael, migrated to Australia and established himself in the Young district as a doctor and cherry farmer. Peter’s brother Brian also has a successful Hilltops vineyard: Grove Estate.

Ballinaclash wines are contract-made by Chris Derrez and Lucy Maddox of Madrez Wine Services in Orange.

Clearly, the Mullanys have a very good vineyard and Ballinaclash is a name to watch.

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