Courier Mail, The (Brisbane), 19/02/2005, pg. 3

QUEENSLAND’S youngest winery has snatched the state’s first ever gold medal at the prestigious Sydney Royal Show wine competition with a shiraz discovered in barrels in a farm shed at Ballandean.

Of more than 2000 wines blind-tasted by a panel of judges, the 2003 Reserve Shiraz grown at Ballandean’s Symphony Hill Winery came out on top.

The gold medal accolade from vines in only their second vintage is set to silence critics of the once-despised Queensland wine industry.

Destiny seems to have played a part in the gold medal win. Symphony Hill owner Ewen Macpherson desperately needed a winemaker in 2003 after losing a contractor. Blair Duncan, who helped produce Penfold’s Grange, was on holiday in the area and replied to Mr McPherson’s advertisement. The rest is history.

Symphony Hill’s 2005 vintage Shiraz will be picked next month.

Copyright 2005 / Courier Mail