Sirromet wins awards in Beijing

THE Granite Belt’s own Sirromet Wines has boosted its push into Chinese export markets by winning three gold medals in a competition in Beijing.

The company claimed gold in the Wine China Exhibition Show for a 2008 Signature Collection Shiraz Viognier (recommended retail price $35), a 2009 Signature Collection Chardonnay ($35) and a 2009 Le Sauvage ’Wild Yeast’ Cabernet Shiraz ($55).

“These medals will help us expand our current exports to China because they give the Sirromet brand extra credibility in the marketplace over there,” said Director of Sales and Marketing Rod Hill.

Judging for the Chinese competition was held at Beijing’s National Agricultural Exhibition Centre from April 17-20, and Sirromet was advised of its results on Friday.

All three gold medal winning wines are from fruit from Sirromet’s vineyards at Ballandean on the Granite Belt and they were produced and bottled at the company’s headquarters at Mount Cotton, south-east of Brisbane.

Sirromet began exporting to China in 2008. This year the company has despatched 50,000 bottles there in four containers, two of them to Jiangxi-based Dong Run Investment Holding Company and its affiliates, and the other two to distributors and clients in the Shandong and Guangxi provinces.

“Dry reds are the favourite wine style in China, and the growth rate of imported wines there is about 30 per cent annually,” Mr Hill said.

“Two of Sirromet’s gold medals in Beijing were for dry reds (2008 Shiraz Viognier and 2009 Cabernet Shiraz) so that’s a plus.”

“Most of our Chinese exports are a mix of dry reds across premium, mediumpriced, and entry-level ranges, but we are also sending some white wines.”

Hill said Sirromet’s move into China this year also included the appointment of Shanghai-based Australian Dean Lapthorne to oversee relations with existing customers and attract new business.

Sirromet’s results in Beijing mean the company has now won 23 gold medals in overseas and Australian competitions since opening in 2000, including four of them this year.

The 2008 Signature Collection Shiraz Viognier and 2009 Signature Collection Chardonnay which claimed gold in Beijing are available from Sirromet’s cellar door at Mount Cotton and at its on-site Restaurant Lurleen’s.

The 2009 ‘Le Sauvage’ Cabernet Shiraz is exclusive to participants in Sirromet Safari wine and food events and at the restaurant.

“This wine is from premium parcels of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz fruit and was aged in French oak for 14 months before bottling,” said Sirromet Chief Winemaker Adam Chapman.

“The ‘wild yeast’ adds complexity and sets it apart from our normal range.”

Sirromet has now won more than 460 medals and awards in the past 11 years.

The winery is owned by Gold Coast businessman Terry Morris.

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