Celebrating yet another major trophy win at this year’s Macquarie Group Sydney Royal Wine Show, Grant Burge was very pleased about his 20 year old Tawny’s phenomenal success. “This is our 20th Trophy for the 20 year old in ten years; surely that has to be a record for an Australian fortified wine,” he stated. “We’ve won trophies at Sydney, Brisbane and the Barossa as well as the International Wine Challenge and the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards in London four times.”
“With 32 gold medals and 29 silver medals as well as the trophies around its neck, it has to be the all time consistent top scorer, the Don Bradman of Australian wine,” Grant joked.
The 20th trophy is the culmination of a vision by the fifth generation Barossa vigneron to re- introduce fortifieds to the Australian public. In the 1980’s and 1990’s when many Barossa wineries stopped making fortifieds and sold off their stock, choosing to chase the table wine boom, Grant bucked the trend and maintained his stocks, continuing and fortified wines using premium Barossa grapes.
In the early 2000’s he also opened Australia’s only dedicated fortified cellar door, Illaparra in Tanunda. “Wines such as this 20 year old Tawny deserve our respect and attention,” Grant said. “They are truly special relics of our vinous history” “Blending the 20 year old is a highlight for me and the winemaking team every year. It’s an honour to sort through parcels of our aged tawny (some up to 50 years old) and carefully match them to younger batches. I’m very particular about the blend. It can take up to a week to get it just right.”
Grant said there is still strong,consumer demand across his entire fortified range; from a growing pool of youthful drinkers who like the sweetness and intensity with foods such as tapas, to long term fortified lovers who make it their drink of choice. “I just love this style – making it and bottling it for our customers is certainly not about financial gains, it’s about family history and passing on little pieces of our heritage, keeping a proud tradition alive,” Grant said.