For the past six years, wineries from across Australia have submitted their signature wines to theMelbourne International Wine Competitionto go before the only international judging panel made up of qualified trade buyers and sommeliers. With thousands of contenders fighting for recognition, Eden Valley’s Brockenchack Wines walked away with three gold medals from the 2019 Melbourne competition, and not only were they recognised for their individual wines, they also wonEden Valley Grenache Winery of the Year.

Having always dreamed of producing a wine label that he could be proud to call his own, Trevor turned his hand to grape growing in 2007, jumping at an opportunity to purchase an established centenarian vineyard in Eden Valley. In 2008 he harvested his first batch of Shiraz under the Brockenchack label and he has not looked back.

With numerous awards already under our belt, this year we add another three gold medals to our list of achievements; for our 2017 Megan Jane Grenache (which has since sold out) and2017 Zip Line Shiraz, both of which were made by the wonderful Joanne Irvine, and our2017 Hare Hunter Pinot Noir, made by the talented Shawn Kalleske.

Being named theEden Valley Grenache Winery of the Yearwas a huge achievement for our family, especially on the first release of our Grenache, as we were up against some world-renowned wineries. But perhaps even more thrilling for us, was winning gold for our2017 Hare Hunter Pinot Noiras Pinot Noir is a rare varietal for Eden Valley. It has always been a favourite varietal of our family and of our winemaker Shawn Kalleske, so after much consideration, and under the firm belief in the quality of our vineyard and its ability to produce world-class wine varieties outside of our region's renowned Riesling and Shiraz, we decided to test the Pinot growing conditions of our cooler climate Eden Valley vineyard.

“There has always been doubt over whether Eden Valley could produce great Pinot Noir, but Shawn researched some of the best world examples before hand-selecting four clones for our Pinot Noir block. We put this research into practice 8 years ago with the planting of our first Pinot Noir vines,” said Trevor.

Grown in three places on our single vineyard in Eden Valley, a portion of our Pinot Noir vines were planted at the highest point of the vineyard; approximately 480m above sea level. The remaining vines were planted in the two coolest spots in slightly lower parts of the property, at approximately 450m above sea level. While the whole vineyard enjoys cool climate conditions, these particular patches are the coolest parts, with rocky soils, ideal for growing Pinot Noir.

Our 2017 release was the second vintage of the Hare Hunter Pinot Noir. Its latest gold medal backs up two silver medals won in the USA last year at the 2018 New York World Wine & Spirits Competition and the 2018 San Francisco International Wine Show and a further silver medal won at the 2019 New Zealand Internatinal Wine Show; pitted against some of New Zealand's best Pinot producers. Not a bad effort!

“When we planted our Pinot Noir vines, to say that people were sceptical would be quite an understatement. We copped a bit of flack. But this only fuelled our determination to produce world-class Pinot Noir for this region. And that’s exactly what we’ve done. Winning gold for our Hare Hunter Pinot Noir at an international wine competition is a huge deal for us and we are naturally very pleased with this recognition,” said Trevor.

“Shawn Kalleske’s winemaking skills continually impress us, and each year we look forward to discovering just how Shawn has crafted our latest batch of fruit, to deliver yet another beautiful installment of Eden Valley Pinot Noir. At this stage we anticipate that the 2017 vintage will cellar for up to eight years under correct cellaring conditions, but being only our second release, we will revisit each vintage throughout the years, to watch how they develop over time,” added Trevor.

These awards at the Melbourne International Wine Competition have acknowledged how far Brockenchack Wines has come over the past 12 years and is a testament not only to the family’s hard work, passion and dedication, but also to the quality of this vineyard and its two great winemakers.