WRATTONBULLY wine region made its mark at the 2013 Australian Boutique Wine Awards earlier this month in Sydney.
Two family-owned companies collected major trophies.
Patrick Wines' 2012 Patrick Estate Riesling was named the top riesling, while the trophy for the best cabernet sauvignon went to Malone Wines' 2009 Malone Wrattonbully Cabernet Sauvignon.
Wrattonbully Wine Industries Association president James Freckleton said the double trophy win was true testament to the versatility of the cool climate region, which is earning a strong reputation as a consistent performer.
"To be able to produce both trophy-winning reds and whites is simply fantastic and it is exciting that small family-owned producers are being recognised on a national stage," he said.
"These awards are certainly competitive; more than 80 per cent of the domestic wine industry is eligible to enter, so these stand-out results against the very best in the industry are a wonderful achievement."
Master of wine Toni Paterson, who has clocked up 10 years as panel chair, praised the 2009 Malone Wrattonbully Cabernet Sauvignon's alluring, inherent varietal characters enhanced by expert handling in the winery.
"A little age has knitted together the elements to create a wine of great harmony and interest," she said.
Malone Wines' Will Malone said his family was thrilled with the result.
"We have enjoyed success with our Malone shiraz in recent years," he said.
"But it is exciting to see our cabernet acknowledged on the national stage - we aim to consistently produce top quality wines showcasing the distinct varietal flavours of the region."
Meanwhile Patrick Wines' Patrick Estate Riesling has now won five trophies in the past four years, with judges at the 2013 Boutique Wine Awards declaring it fresh and vibrant on the palate with lemon and lime juice, along with rose petal and citrus aromas.
"The panel became excited and went for a unanimous gold from the start and agreed that this is a lovely young riesling," panel chair Gary Baldwin said.
It is not the first time the 2012 vintage in particular has caught the judges' eye; just weeks after being bottled, the 2012 Patrick Estate Riesling won its first gold medal and top-of-class honours at the 2012 Limestone Coast Wine Show.
"While that first gold confirmed that it was a terrific wine, this latest Boutique Wine Award, which put us up against producers from right across Australia and New Zealand, has really cemented that belief," Patrick's winemaker Luke Tocaciu said.