15 December 2023

To Nerriga winery, here's cheers for taking out top gongs in national highlands show

| Sally Hopman
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Two men and two women with trophy

Australian Highlands Wine Show MC, Mike Archer of Dawning Day Winery at Exeter, with winners Jill and Michael Bynon, of Corang Estate at Nerriga, and judge Toni Paterson. Photo: Supplied.

Jill and Michael Bynon have every reason to celebrate this week with vintages from their Corang Estate winery securing top honours at the Australian Highlands Wine Show – including the trophy for Best Wine in Show.

“It was quite a night,” Jill said, of the awards ceremony in Bowral, “to win so many trophies in the one show.

“To win the chardonnay class and the red blend class, but also the best white and overall best wine of show is really thrilling,” she said.

Corang Estate’s 2022 chardonnay won the trophy for Best Wine of Show and also took out the Best Chardonnay in Show and Best White Wine of Show. Its Corang Estate 2022 El Tinto won Best Red Blend of Show and its 2023 rose won a gold medal.

Michael Bynon said it was the fifth vintage of chardonnay they had been working on “to build more concentration and complexity into the wine each year.

“The fruit for the wine comes from the cool climate Tumbarumba region – which is producing really fine, long-lived wines of great interest and detail,” he said.

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“Our El Tinto, meaning ‘The Red’, is a blend of Spanish and Portuguese grape varieties graciano, touriga and tempranillo, sourced from the Hilltops region around Young.

“It’s the first time we’ve made a red blend, but I’ve long admired these inky, black Iberian varieties, with their complex liquorice and black olive notes.”

Michael has worked in the wine industry for more than 30 years, starting as a barman and sommelier in his early 20s before moving on to wine production. He has also passed the prestigious Master of Wine tasting examination. Jill, a linguist and marketing professional, has studied food and wine in Europe.

Bottle of wine between two glass awards for best wine.

Corang Estate’s 2022 Chardonnay took out Best Wine in Show at the 2023 Highlands Wine Show. Photo: Supplied.

Jill said the highlands show win was another boost for the small winery which has regularly tasted success with its products since starting about six years ago. “When we won with our shiraz, we sold out of it almost immediately,” she said.

Along with the winery at Nerriga, near Braidwood, they also run a cellar door for their wines, and other local produce, at Tarago.

“When we started at Nerriga we tried to get a cellar door there up and running, but we faced some headwinds,” Jill said.

“So we went to plan B, the closest village, which was Tarago and we set up the cellar door there last year.

“We started with our wines – we wanted to showcase what we were producing from our vineyard – and now we also have some pantry items. We have wonderful produce here in southern NSW – stone fruits, salami, jams and honey.

“It’s going really well at Tarago since we set up. There’s lots of passing trade from Canberra and Goulburn.”

The Australian Highlands Wine Show is open to cool climate wines grown at an altitude of more than 500 metres above sea level and attracts entries from all over Australia.

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