The judges have gathered and the sniffing, swirling and spitting are done.
It’s the annual Hunter Valley Boutique Wine Show where the best efforts of the smaller wine producers are analysed and scored.
This year there were 323 wines from 47 vineyards to evaluate. Judging took place over two days at Maitland Showground, finishing on Tuesday. The presentation dinner for the winning wines will be held at Crowne Plaza on Thursday evening.
“Most of the wines presented were from the 2015 and 2016 vintages which had their challenges,” Chairman of judges Keith Tulloch said. “But overall it was great to see the quality delivered from a good range of varieties and a great range of exhibitors.
“In recent years we have some sensational vintages, and some of the aged releases from 2014, 2013 and 2011 were exceptional and really show the pedigree of the valley.
“One again the semillion and shiraz were standouts, and strong examples of newer varieties such as fiano and barbera.”