State's growers barrel into traditional riesling territory

Inga Ting

CAN NSW winemakers take the crown for producing the best riesling in Australia?

The state's producers are collecting honours for their riesling at national and international wine shows, prompting a debate about whether they are long-term challengers to South Australia.

''We'd certainly like to think there's a challenge. I know there's a rivalry from the NSW point of view,'' Peter Logan, of Logan Wines in Mudgee, said.

''This year and last year people have started taking notice. We've been making good riesling for a lot longer than that … but it's only recently that there's been the weight in numbers to capture attention outside the state - and even in the state.''

Mr Logan's 2012 Weemala Riesling beat 92 entries from around the country to win this year's Summer of Riesling challenge, also picking up gold at the International Riesling Challenge, the National Wine Show of Australia, the Adelaide Wine Show and a blue gold at the Sydney International Wine Show.

Other NSW producers making a strong impression include Canberra's Ravensworth, which won wine of show at Canberra's International Riesling Challenge, while Gourmet Traveller named Jacob Stein of Mudgee's Robert Stein Winery, which has enjoyed considerable success with its riesling, young winemaker of the year 2012.

However, Herald wine writer and critic Huon Hooke said the volume of riesling produced in NSW was too small to be viewed as a challenge.

''There isn't the demand to boost production,'' he said.