From the Chairman
On behalf of the ANAWBS Committee, may I welcome you to this year’s Show.
This newsletter is to update you on the 2018 Show, again to be held at the Waite Institute in late September. We are well into the planning for the Show and we hope that you will again be able to exhibit in the National Show. We have very much appreciated your support and encouragement and this involvement has resulted in the National Show celebrating its 39th presentation.
Our website has just undergone a major upgrade and I encourage you to regularly visit it and stay in contact with our Face book and Twitter sites to stay updated about the ANAWBS competition. All the dates, entry process, costs etc – are on the ANAWBS website.
Not only are we looking for your continued support this year, but we also encourage you to contact and encourage friends and others who are amateur wine and beer makers to consider entering into the Show.
Looking forward to your participation in this year’s Show
Chair, ANAWBS 2018 Show
Presentation Day 2017 – Bob Morton deputy chairman
2017 Beer Competition
A very successful ANAWBS beer competition this year with the judges praising the standard of all categories. A total of 156 entries with 2 Gold, 9 Silver and 26 Bronze medals awarded.
One judge said to me half way through the competition that he loves judging at this event as the standard is superior.
A big thank you goes out to the judges, sponsors and stewards for their commitment to the show.
With the major awards going to interstate entrants and many local brewers doing well this year, it makes the show a true national competition.
Next year we are hoping to be BJCP accredited, which will benefit both judges and entrants in the standard of the show.
I have enjoyed my first year and have already started on 2018, making it the best beer competition in Australia.
The Presentation Day tasting in 2018 will also include beer for the first time.
Hope to see more beer entries next year so get the tun out and start brewing.
The Paddle Mash for 2018 is Sour Beer.
Gavin Pennell – Beer Convenor
The ANAWBS beer competition is now a BJCP sanctioned competition. The Beer Judge Certification Program or BJCP is a non-profit organization formed in 1985 in America “to promote beer literacy and the appreciation of real beer, and to recognize beer tasting and evaluation skills.” It has been described in the press as a “hands-on … study program designed to teach aspiring beer enthusiasts about the essence of any kind of beer”.The BJCP certifies and ranks beer judges through an examination and monitoring process.
ANAWBS most successful grape wine maker 2017 David Clarke
I started making fruit wines when I was 14 years old whilst growing up in England. I progressed to kit wines using grape juice concentrate a few years later. Then, in the 1970s there was a revival of English vineyards and more and more small boutique wineries sprung up and this inspired me to plant an acre of vines in Blean, a small village near to our home in Canterbury in Kent. I grew Muller Thurgau and Madeleine Angevine, two white European varieties that were more of less guaranteed to ripen in the English summer. I did not make the wine from these grapes myself as I did not have the equipment at this time but I did sell the finished product in the Blean Village Shop and the Madeleine Angevine was very popular with the local Whitstable Oyster Company!
We moved to Australia in 1998 in search of some space and settled in Macclesfield on a little (by Australian standards) five-acre property. I planted 100 shiraz vines and my first vintage was bottled in 2005 just a few months after joining the Blackwood Wine and Brewers’ Club in 2004. This was the first red wine I had ever made and was, at least, drinkable. Over the years I have progressed from making just the one vintage of shiraz a year from my own grapes to making between 4-6 wines, red, white, and most recently, sparkling wine each year. The grapes I buy come from a variety of sources in the Barossa and McLaren Vale regions, from friends’ recommendations and contacts, to the latest and more modern online source of Gumtree (my 2016 ANAWBS Gold Medal Rosé was made from Grenache grapes from Willunga sourced via Gumtree on a whim!) I attempted to make a Port about 5 years ago – it’s still in the barrel whilst I ponder on what to do with it!
I am not a competitive person by any means but I do like to try and raise my own personal wine-making bar and so I decided to enter my wines into ANAWBS in order to get some professional feedback to assist me in improving my wine-making skills for future vintages. Sometimes it is positive and sometimes it is not so positive!! But, the good feedback lifts me up and the bad feedback spurs me on to improve so it is well worth entering your wines.
I don’t have any magic formulas to make good wine. My own personal mantra is that you can only make good wine from good grapes so source your grapes wisely, or if you grow your own, look after them well. I am also a stickler for cleanliness in the winery (aka the shed!) and regularly check the sulphur levels of each of my wines.
I also insulated the shed with proper insulation to try to stabilise temperature variations and I think has been a big help to the wine. I have become more flexible in my approach to wine-making as I used to just follow ‘Rankine’ to the letter but my experience now is that it is best to have a ‘regular but adaptable routine’ of making a red wine or a white wine as each vintage and variety can be so different. I am also very grateful to a number of BWBC members who I call upon for advice, information and hints and tips in wine-making – any success I have had is, in part, also due to them freely and willingly offering and sharing their knowledge and experience with me.
I really do enjoy the whole process of making my wine and, at times, am very happy to spend the best part of the day tinkering in the winery shed. Inevitably, of course, I have to drink the bottled product at the end – the fun part – but it is also rewarding to be able to share it with friends, and with family when they visit from the UK. My success at this year’s ANAWBS was a lovely surprise to me and I thank the BWBC and ANWABS committee members for working so hard to put on such a great event.
David Clarke at the Moet and Chandon cellar s , Epernay, France