Steve Flamsteed has been announced as Victoria’s 2019 Legend of the Vine at the annual Royal Melbourne Jimmy Watson Trophy Winners Lunch.
A winemaker, chef and cheesemaker, Flamsteed didn’t follow the traditional path that many of his peers had taken before him.
With a passion for cooking, he moved from his hometown of Toowoomba to Brisbane as an apprentice chef, before jumping on a plane to Europe where he worked as a chef in London.
He then ended up in France ,where he met an Australian winemaker, who changed everything for him. With a new love for wine, Flamsteed moved back to Australia to study winemaking. He then successfully won a Queen’s Trust Scholarship to study farmhouse cheesemaking in France.
When he moved back to Australia he ended up in the Yarra Valley as the Chef Winemaker for Giant Steps.
“Steve has made an outstanding contribution to the wine industry,” said National Chair, Toni Carlino.
“His clear passion and pursuit for using the finest raw ingredients from exceptional vineyards in the Yarra Valley saw him being awarded the 2016 Winemaker of the Year by Gourmet Traveller WINE.”
Steve is today a respected wine judge, panel chair and chairperson in the Australian wine show judging circuit.
According to Wine Communicators of Australia he has been instrumental in directing others to think differently about appraisal; drinkability first, fault finding missions second.
“Showing endless commitment to improving Pinot Noir in Australia, he has played a notable role in the quiet revolution of Victorian wines, both advocating and practising more transparent farming and limited intervention winemaking,” the WCA noted.
The Legend of the Vine Award was first introduced in Victoria in 2014 and extends across NSW and South Australia with annual awards issued in each state.
The nominees from each state are nominated by the Wine Communicators of Australia (WCA) State Chapters, with their recommendation for the state winner. The final winner is then ratified by the WCA National Board.
Flamsteed is the sixth person to be awarded Legend of the Vine status in Victoria, and joins a prestigious national list that includes Colin Campbell, Ross Brown, Kathleen Quealey, Eric Vivian (Viv) Thomson and Jeni Port.
This year’s Jimmy Watson Trophy was won by Bleasdale Vineyards for its
2018 The Wild Fig S.G.M.
Priced at just $20 a bottle, the Wild Fig S.G.M is a blend of Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre sourced from Langhorne Creek and produced by Bleasdale Vinyards Winemaker Paul Hotker. It’s the first time a blend has taken home the Jimmy Watson Trophy since 2008.