MIA MIA’S Burke and Wills Winery was the runaway winner at last week’s Heathcote Wine Show, with its 2015 Vat 1 Shiraz collecting four trophies.
It triumphed in the best young Shiraz, best single vineyard wine, best Heathcote produced wine and best Shiraz.
The wine was also selected as best wine of the show, meaning it will now go on to the Victorian Wine Show as the Heathcote region’s contender for the Premier’s Award for the best Victorian wine.
The success of the 2015 Vat 1 Shiraz has helped consolidate the pedigree of the label, with the 2013 having previously been awarded 95 points and described as ‘Heathcote at its best’ by Australia’s foremost wine writer James Halliday
The winery was established in 2004 by Andrew Pattison and his wife Heather McCormack, after Pattison had spent eighteen years as a vigneron at his Lancefield Winery in the Macedon Ranges.
Mr Pattison said “good is the enemy of great” for small producers as it was a waste of time trying to make good wine.
“There is so much good wine at very low prices. You have to make great wine to stand a chance of survival,” he said.
“It is very gratifying to be involved with the whole process of creating a unique wine.
“Great wine is made in the vineyard rather than in the winery and this wine is all about terroir.
“And I have to give much of the credit for this wine to my wife Heather, who does the pruning. She is much more disciplined and ruthless with the vines than I am, and keeps the crop to a very low level.”
Mr Pattison said he remembered the late Gordon Knight of Granite Hills Winery at Baynton informing him the climate towards Mia Mia was perfect for growing Shiraz and Cabernet.
“When a plot of land consisting of shallow red volcanic basalt soil in this area came on the market I jumped at it,” he said.
“The beauty of the site is that it is just a touch warmer than the Macedon Ranges, which can struggle to ripen some grape varieties in cooler years.
“But it’s cooler than the northern end of the Heathcote and Bendigo regions, where hot years can cook the grapes too much and strip them of true varietal flavours.”
Heathcote Winegrowers Association president Gary Harbor said judges were impressed with the emergence of white wines in this year’s competition.
“It is a very red-based show, but the judges said white wines were a highlight this year,” he said.
“On the red side was the emergence of the Mediterranean styles. There were a growing number of entries last year and we had 41 entries in the class this year.
“It was very impressive to see Andrew Pattison pick up so many awards. He’s been in the region for a long time and it’s a fantastic achievement, especially for such a small winery.”
Best wine other than Shiraz was awarded to Hennings Voignier 2016 and the chairman’s trophy went to Chalmers Greco 2015.
The coveted Heathcote Grand Terroir was not awarded this year as judges felt the 14 entrants for the category did not meet the consistency, quality and longevity criteria.