Halliday Wine Companion Award Winner | 2018 Winemaker of the Year

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In the 2016 wine show calendar Bleasdale’s chief winemaker, Paul Hotker, won five trophies for his 2015 Bleasdale Wellington Road Grenache Shiraz. It’s not uncommon for a single wine to win multiple trophies. A haul of two or three trophies will greatly please the recipient and won’t (usually) cause rumbles of discontent from those wines that were in the running, yet not awarded. It’s just what happens.

But winning a trophy from five wine shows over the year in question is another thing, particularly when the fifth and final award came from the National Wine Show of Australia for Best Blended Dry Red. But the Wellington Road wasn’t alone; the 2014 Second Innings Malbec won trophies from the Sydney Royal Wine Show and Winewise Championship. The next Second Innings vintage (2015) took another brace of trophies from the Perth Royal Wine Show and Royal Hobart Wine Show. Just to round things off, in 2016 the 2014 Malbec 1960 The Pioneer was awarded the trophy for Best Other Single Varietal Red at the Royal Queensland Wine Show.

This was no flash in the pan; in the 2015 show year Bleasdale Vineyards was awarded eight trophies from five shows, taking out a remarkable double at the Sydney Royal Wine Show for Best Cabernet-dominant Blend and Best Shiraz-dominant Blend.

Such extraordinary achievements could give the impression that Paul is a master blender following eerily closely in the footsteps of Wolfgang Blass 42 years ago. Wolfgang also dominated wine shows from Adelaide to Timbuktu with his red wine blends from Langhorne Creek.

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