Celebrating the best in Australian winemaking

Gourmet Traveller WINE Winemaker of the Year Awards


Photo by Grant Nowell

The people behind some of the top wines in Australia gathered from vineyards around the country for their time in the sun.

As proud sponsor, Perpetual was delighted to support the Gourmet Traveller WINE Winemaker of the Year Awards for 2015. McLaren Vale winemaker Stephen Pannell took out the major award, being named Winemaker of the Year for 2015.

Pannell’s winemaking journey began in Margaret River when his parents, Bill and Sandra Pannell, established the famous Moss Wood winery in 1969. After reaching the top of the game as a corporate winemaker, Pannell branched out and established his own boutique label, S.C. Pannell. He continues to challenge the status quo with a range of stunning wines suited to Australian tastes.

As the unsung heroes of winemaking, viticulturists are the experts behind the grapes. Ashley Ratcliff was recognised as Viticulturist of the Year for 2015, an award sponsored by Perpetual. Ratcliff is a pioneer in promoting sustainable farming practices, having planted alternative grape varieties which require less water and low-impact agrochemicals. Good news for wine drinkers and the environment.

Photo by Grant Nowell

The Young Winemaker Medal went to Melanie Chester. As the youngest ever winner of the award, Chester has the brightest of futures ahead of her. Warren Randall won the Len Evans Award for his inspiring leadership and guiding hand in the rejuvenation of Seppeltsfield.

Time is the catalyst

Some of Pannell’s wines have recommended cellaring times of up to 10 years. Investing takes time too, one reason why Perpetual and Gourmet Traveller WINE have combined to bring you the ultimate cellaring guide: why cellar, how to cellar and where to cellar, so you can enjoy Australia’s iconic wines at their absolute peak.

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Enjoy wine as it is meant to be (and find out how the principles of good cellaring – quality and time – can work for your finances too).