WCA name Brian Croser 2021 Legend of the Vine

October 12, 2021
By Ioni Doherty

Wine Communicators of Australia (WCA) named Brian Croser AO its 2021 Legend of the Vine at the Royal Adelaide Wine and Spirits Lunch held in Adelaide last Friday.

The lunch is an annual highlight of the Royal Adelaide Wine & Spirit Show and was able to take place in person this year with 300 people together in the room for the lunch.

Mr Croser (pictured above with WCA SA Chapter Chair, Assoc. Prof. Armando Maria Corsi) is the seventh person be named a ‘legend of the vine’ joining Pam Dunsford (2019), Tony Love (2018), Brian Walsh (2017), d’Arry Osbourne (2016), Bill Hardy (2015) and Patrick Iiland (2014).

Andrew Stark, WCA Executive Officer said, “Brian Croser is a genuine legend. His contribution to the industry is unquestionable. He has been a brand champion, advocate, educator and mentor for our industry over a sustained period, and has played a significant part in advancing the careers of many of today’s household names. We are honoured to award Brian our 2021 South Australia Legend of the Vine”

Other highlights of the day included The Bay of Fires Pinot Noir 2020 winning the Max Schubert AM Trophy for Most Outstanding Red Wine in Show andChampion Spirit of the Show being awarded to The Hills Distillery for its 78 Degrees Muscat Finish Whiskey which also won the Master Cask Trophy for Champion Whisky. 

Of Pinot Noir’s win, Chair of the Wine Committee Greg Follett said, “It is great to see so many regions from around the country featuring amongst the trophy winners, especially a Tasmanian Pinot Noir winning the Max Schubert Trophy for the Most Outstanding Red Wine in Show, a category which is normally dominated by Shiraz. This is the first time I can recall a Pinot Noir winning this prestigious award.”

Indeed it is. Winemaker Penny Jones said, “After the recent Perth Wine Show results, where our 2020 Eddystone Point Pinot took out the trophy, just pushing the Bay of Fires Pinot to second top gold, we did have a keen eye on the Royal Adelaide Wine Show results.

We could never have imagined however that it would take out the Max Schubert trophy for Best Red Wine of Show, as no Pinot Noir has ever been awarded that prestigious award. Tasmanian Pinots dominated the 2020 and 2019 classes and we are so incredibly proud to see the continued success of our Tassie Pinot Noirs on the Australian Wine Show circuit.”

And while Bay of Fires may have taken out the top award, it was wines from the Margaret River and Barossa regions which dominated the trophy list in other classes. Margaret River wineries produced 29 gold medal winners, including Cherubino’s 2020 Margaret River Chardonnay which also took out the George Fairbrother Memorial Trophy for Most Outstanding White Wine in Show and The Seguin Moreau Trophy for Best Chardonnay in Show.

The Gramp, Hardy, Hill Smith Prize for National Wine of Provenance was won by Penfolds Bin A Chardonnay (2020, 2012 and 2009 vintages), made from grapes grown in the Adelaide Hills.

The 2021 Royal Adelaide Wine Show attracted 2,756 entries from 350 Australian wineries, with judging taking place over the past week. The panel of 35 judges engaged in intense discussion, scrutiny and deliberation to ensure that the best wines shone through.

Chair of Judges Kym Milne MW said entries were received from six states and over 30 regions, and that 196 wines from 111 different exhibitors received gold medals representing 7.4% of total entries.

“Shiraz was once again the most represented variety in the competition, with almost half of the 600-plus entries coming from the 2019 vintage,” Mr Milne said. “Across the variety a total of 46 gold medals were awarded, with 21 going to the 2019 vintage.   

The 2021 Riesling class was also outstanding with many judges commenting on the number of very high quality wines that were presented to them.”

Wine Trophies

Most Outstanding Red Wine in Show: Bay of Fires Wines – Bay of Fires Pinot Noir 2020

Most Outstanding White Wine in Show: Cherubino – Margaret River Chardonnay 2020

National Wine of Provenance: Penfolds Bin A Chardonnay (2020, 2012 and 2009 vintages)

Best Sparkling Wine in Show: Heemskerk Wines – Heemskerk Chardonnay Pinot Noir Sparkling 2014

Best Apera, Topaque, Muscat or Sweet White in Show: McWilliam’s Wines Group Ltd – Show Reserve 25 Year Old Muscat 

Best Australian Vintage, Tawny or Ruby in Show: Penfolds Grandfather Rare Tawny

Spirit Trophies

Champion in Show:78 Degrees Muscat Finish Whiskey – The Hills Distillery

Champion Whisky:78 Degrees Muscat Finish Whiskey 

Champion Gin: No 7 Distillery – Dry Citrus

Champion Brandy: Noble Road The Peak Brandy by Southern Vinters & Negociants

Champion Other Spirit: Ruby Bitter Aperitif by Imperial Measures Distilling

Champion Small Batch:No 7 Distillery – Dry Citrus

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