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David Beats Goliath: Royal Hobart 2015




In a classic case of David and Goliath, Moppity Vineyards has been awarded ’Most Successful Exhibitor’ at the 2015 Royal Hobart Wine Show after winning six gold medals, capping off an extraordinary year on the wine show circuit.


The previous winners of this trophy (including Accolade, McWilliams and Treasury Wine Estates) are all juggernauts of the industry and even at a conservative count are more than 300 times Moppity’s size.


A win for NSW

Moppity’s winning wines at the Hobart show were all small batch, single vineyard wines from the emerging regions of Hilltops and Tumbarumba. No other winery has won this award with solely New South Wales wines. We believe it may in fact be a first for any Capital City show. This underscores the great progress that has been made in these cool climate regions of Southern NSW and the incredible potential that exists in these areas.


Dominating the 2014 Cabernet class

Moppity Vineyards entered four Hilltops Cabernets and won the only four gold medals awarded out of the 46 wines entered. Such comprehensive success from a single winery is rare if not unprecedented in the Australian wine show circuit; particularly in a capital city show. These four wines have now won a total of 3 trophies and 14 gold medals. We’ve made a lot of changes in our Cabernets since 2012, both in viticulture and winemaking, with a view to promoting vibrancy and freshness. We’re now seeing the results.


Other notable results in 2015

The Hobart result is not an aberration but a continuation of the results we’ve achieved this year:

·        Most Successful Exhibitor, Canberra Regional Wine Show (3rd consecutive year)

·        Most Successful Exhibitor, Riverina Wine Show

o   First winner with exclusively NSW wines

·        Most awarded exhibitor, NSW Wine Awards

·        Most awarded exhibitor, NSW Small Winemakers Show

·        Most Successful Exhibitor, Royal Hobart Wine Show

·        11 trophies and 71 gold medals won this year


Why enter wine shows?

As a small producer which commenced wine production in 2006 we’ve found that wine shows help benchmark our wines as well as validate our quality statements.  It can be difficult to survive commercially when you’re a small, unknown winery operating in very small, emerging regions of Southern NSW. We have to overcome the consumer’s default position, “Never heard of it – can’t be as good as [insert mainstream region/maker]”. We face an enormous challenge in convincing the trade and consumer that the wines are as good as they are (and better than the price would suggest). Third party endorsements of any kind can provide the consumer with just enough confidence to try the wines. After that, the wine speaks for itself.



How does it help?

Seven years ago, we were on the verge of insolvency and were sometimes forced to cut corners and take a more conservative winemaking path in order to stay afloat. Today, we’re financially strong enough to take risks with experimental batches and push the boundaries without fear of financial failure. We run a large number of small ferments with a view to expressing the personality of each micro site. This would not have been possible without our show success.


Importantly, strong show results are helping to elevate the emerging regions of Hilltops and Tumbarumba from relative obscurity to the larger stage.


Specifically, our show success has enabled the following:

·        We now have plans approved for a cellar door, restaurant and 200-seat function centre that will dramatically lift the Hilltops region’s wine tourism profile.

·        We’ve undertaken a significant and ongoing vineyard redevelopment program, exploring new varieties as well as new clones of tried and proven varieties.  We are confident that the quality of our wines will continue to improve as a result.

·        We’ve invested in the regional communities and economies of both Hilltops and Tumbarumba through the creation of employment opportunities and supporting local businesses.


Overall show record

·        Over 800 awards won since 2009

·        20 individual trophies and 109 gold medals won since last February

·        Trophies in 2015 for Hilltops Shiraz, Hilltops Cabernet Sauvignon, Hilltops Merlot and Tumbarumba Chardonnay