Adelaide Hills Chardonnay crowned best wine in Australia

Boutique Adelaide Hills winery Murdoch Hill has shot into the national spotlight with the 2022 Rocket Chardonnay winning the Prime Minister’s Trophy for Champion Wine of Show at the 2024 National Wine Show.

This is significant because the National Wine Show only judges the “best of the best” Australian wines since wines must first win a gold or silver medal at a qualifying show to enter the National Show. Winning the Champion Wine of Show effectively means the 2022 Rocket was judged to be the best wine in Australia’s entire wine show system.

The 2022 Murdoch Hill Rocket Chardonnay won a Gold Medal at the prestigious 2023 Royal Sydney Wine Show, to qualify to enter the 2024 National Wine Show. Judges at the 2024 National Wine Show then awarded it 3 trophies: the Chardonnay Trophy, followed by the Len Evans Memorial White Wine of Show Trophy, and finally the Prime Minister’s Trophy for Champion Wine of Show.

Murdoch Hill’s Chief Winemaker, Michael Downer, who travelled to Canberra to accept the award last week and meet Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said, “It’s incredibly gratifying to receive such a recognition, especially considering the high calibre of wines and the rigorous process of judging. To receive the Champion Trophy in the Capital is simply thrilling.

‘All the stars aligned to make this exceptional wine. The Rocket is the culmination of years of refinement in the vineyard and winery to craft the highest quality Chardonnay possible. The introduction of a greater portion of grapes from our Lenswood vineyard brings drive and complexity, while a smaller portion of fruit from high in Piccadilly Valley brings poise and refinement to the wine.”

Murdoch Hills 2022 Rocket Chardonnay 2022. Image credit: Murdoch Hill

The 2022 Rocket Chardonnay is the sixth release of this very special wine. The Rocket is crafted from the absolute best parcels, with Michael Downer selecting only those barrels that most display the power, purity, minerality and tension that he seeks for the Rocket’s trademark character. The 2022 release shows pristine lime and melon flavours laced with a spice complexity and a fine mineral finish.

Also notable: this is the first time in the last five years that a wine from South Australia has won the Champion Wine Trophy at the National Wine Show; the second time in the last decade. Both have been Chardonnays from the Adelaide Hills.

“It is such a delight to see Adelaide Hills Chardonnay stand up and be counted as the best of the best. To say I am over the moon with the success of our 2022 Rocket Chardonnay is an understatement,” quips Michael Downer.

Hero image credit: Studio Vita

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