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Wine industry gathers to celebrate prestigious 2017 Legends awards

The who’s who of the Hunter Valley food and wine world came together at the end of May at Cypress Lakes Ballroom for a gala event celebrating the highly-anticipated announcement of the 2017 Hunter Valley Wine Industry Living Legend.

Now in its 11th year, the prestigious honour is awarded to a winemaker who has been contributing significantly to the Hunter Valley Wine Industry for at least 30 years.

This year, the revered ‘Living Legend’ status was given to Ian Tinkler, who has been growing grapes and producing premium quality wines on his Pokolbin family properties for more than 35 years. Ian is also the 2009 Hunter Valley Viticulturist of the Year, an award recognising vineyards as reaching iconic status under the quality care of the recipient.

As a Living Legend, Tinkler is in prestigious company, with past winners including Ian Scarborough, Brian McGuigan, Bruce Tyrrell and Jay Tulloch. Other award winners on the night were:

  • Rising Star of the Year - Rauri Donkin (Bimbadgen Estate)
  • Viticulturist of the Year - Andrew Pengilly (Tyrrell’s Wines)
  • Cellar Door of the Year - Thomas Wines
  • Winemaker of the Year - Mark Richardson (Tyrrell’s Wines)
  • Heritage Awards – Rothbury Cemetery
  • HV Award for Excellence - Bruce Tyrrell – (Tyrrell’s Wines)

House of Airlie on behalf of its client Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association (HVWTA) invited an array of Australia’s leading wine media to this year’s Legends Awards. Our visiting media guests were immersed in a two-day itinerary in the region which included ‘new release tastings of Semillon and Shiraz, a ten-year vertical tasting with award winning Hunter Valley winemaker Andrew Thomas of his Braemore Semillon and an intimate dinner alongside local faces at the home of Hunter Valley Legends Brian and Faye McGuigan.